Attorney David Magann Comments on Long Wait Times for Social Security Disability Hearings

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 11, 2016 – The Social Security Administration (SSA) is struggling with long wait times for disability benefits hearings.

Administrative judges are facing heavy caseloads of pending appeals with a national average wait time of around 16 months. Two Florida cities have the country’s longest delays. It takes 22 months to get a hearing in Miami, while Fort Myers has a 20-month wait time. The SSA announced plans for two new judgeships in Miami to ease the burden of pending cases.

“A lot can happen during such lengthy wait periods,” said David W. Magann, a prominent attorney in Tampa, Florida, whose firm specializes in Social Security disability law. “As a result of not being able to work, disabled people may be unable to afford medication or might even become homeless while waiting for their disability benefits. Such long delays are simply unacceptable.”

The SSA’s disability program is a lifeline for millions of disabled Americans who are unable to work. The program sends monthly checks of around $1,165 to nearly nine million permanently unemployed people and $540 to over eight million other low-income individuals. Both groups must submit medical proof to show they are unable to work.

In 2014 the House Oversight and Government Reform committee accused hundreds of judges of rubber-stamping cases as approvals require less time and paperwork than denials. This caused the program’s overall costs to soar into the billions. On the other hand, judges who spent time evaluating medical documents in detail to make a decision were reprimanded for being too slow in approving cases.

According to the SSA, approval rates have declined from 56 percent in 2011 to 44 percent in 2015. The agency is aiming to reduce wait times to 270 days or under by 2020. The program has planned to hire 400 additional judges by 2018. Video hearings by judges in other states with fewer pending cases may also help decrease backlogs.

“No one should have to wait two years for a hearing. However, it will take some time to see what difference the SSA disability program’s additional funding and new policies make to the long wait times and claims backlog,” said Magann.

Learn more at http://www.floridasocialsecurity.com/

David W. Magann, P.A.
Main Office:
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175

Tampa Office:
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618

View Larger Map

  • SSA is Heading For Delays Again After Recent Cutbacks & Years of Improvement
    Service Cuts, Computer Problems Cloud Social Security’s 79th Birthday: The Social Security Administration should have reason to celebrate. After all, August 14, 2014, marked the 79th anniversary of the day when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which ushered in the landmark entitlement program. However, the agency’s birthday was a less than cheerful […]
  • SSA is Ramping Up Disability Reviews in 2014
    The Social Security Disability Benefits Reform Act of 1984 (“DBRA 1984”) was passed by a unanimous, bipartisan vote in the House and Senate (99-0) in September 1984. President Reagan signed the law on October 9, 1984, when it became Pub. L. No. 98-460. One of the main provisions required “medical improvement” before benefits could be terminated where […]
  • Never Allow A Non-Attorney to Represent You At Your Social Security Hearing!
    You should NOT have a non-attorney clerk at your hearing?  This seems obvious, but several Florida law firms and any company identifying themselves as “Experts”, some who are advertising on TV, are sending non-attorney clerks to Social Security Hearings simply because its cheaper for them to do so rather than have an actual attorney appear. How in […]
  • Do Not Believe Non-Lawyer Websites Who Post 95% Success Rates!
    Continually we see claimants who have had a non-lawyer representative whose company boasts a 95% success rate when in fact it is simply not true. No lawyer website can ethically advertise with success rates in percentages because it is misleading and yes, unethical. Each claim is different and if it is to good to be true, […]
  • Missing Your Social Security Statements? SSA’s New Policy
      SSA has recently changed its policy regarding the availability of the annual Social Security Statement. Effective May 1, 2012, SSA will begin to provide real-time online access to the Statement with the release of the new “MySocialSecurity” portal, www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement. In March 2011, due to budget issues, SSA suspended the mailing of all annual Social […]