The Congressional Subcommittee on Social Security Disability Claims Backlogs continues its efforts to reduce its unprecedented backlog of disability claims. Due in part to prolonged underfunding, the backlog of disability appeals hearings grew significantly in recent years. By December 2008, more than 768,000 Americans were waiting for a hearing decision – an historic high. Total waiting times for a decision on a claim extend to three or four years and testimony before the Subcommittee has included personal stories of those who have lost their homes, depleted life savings, or eve died while awaiting a decision. The Social Security Administration now projects by the end of fiscal year 2010 more than one million Americans will be awaiting a decision on an initial disability claim, up from about 567,000 at the end of fiscal year 2008. (Excerpt from a newsletter from Forman & Associates, Richmond, VA).
Social Security only considers total disability; no benefits are payable for partial or short-term disability. Social Security defines disability as:
· The inability to do your own job.
· The inability to perform any other gainful employment because of your medical condition.
· A disability that has lasted, or is expected to last for one year or to result in death; claims cannot be filed until one has been disabled 6 months.
Thus, total reliance upon Social Security disability is unwise at best… and disastrous at worst. Call Pat Robson with Robson Financial Legacies if you’d like more information.