Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) October 3, 2017 - The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been taking an inordinate amount of time to make a determination on an individual’s disability benefits.
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) admits that this has been a perpetual problem. An investigation conducted by News 6 revealed that it can take a maximum of two years to obtain a hearing before a judge. Some applicants say they have been waiting longer than two years.
Tampa, Florida social security disability lawyer, David W. Magann, states “It is highly objectionable that social security applicants are compelled to wait up to two years or more for a hearing.” “While waiting indefinitely, they could endure medical setbacks and financial reversals.”
Senator Nelson composed and sent a letter, on July 5, to the acting Commissioner of the SSA requesting an explanation as to why people had such lengthy wait times for a hearing. In the letter, he said that due to the long waiting period, these individuals are undergoing medical and financial difficulties. He also stated that a delay in the receipt of justice is a denial of justice, and if a person is owed by the government a payment for disability to help them achieve some semblance of normalcy with a disability, then they are being subjected to a delay in justice and thus, a denial of justice.
Senator Nelson asked the SSA why it has not employed additional judges to expedite the process of decision making as to eligibility for a hearing. In 2015, the Senate Finance Committee, of which Senator Nelson is a member, granted the SSA the power to hire extra staff to curb the backlog.
Applicants for disability benefits are equally curious about the lack of additional judges. In 2014, Jessica Quillen received a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and spinal stenosis. She has been waiting longer than 2 ½ years for a hearing date before a judge, and will finally go before one in August. Robert Frazier filed his disability claim over one year ago, and is still waiting for a hearing date. He received letters denying him benefits, and eventually hired an attorney to assist him with his case. He was then put on a waiting list for a hearing, for which he must wait two years.
Frazier was recently involved in a car collision, and while he was receiving treatment in a hospital, physicians discovered a mass growing on his spine. The mass is inoperable. Frazier said if the doctors perform a biopsy, he will suffer paralysis or die.
According to Senator Nelson, among the factors giving rise to the delay in hearings is the recession, which created an increase in disability claims. Another factor is the current size of the population, particularly with the coming of age of the baby boomer generation. And then there is the issue of the social security workers managing the backlog.
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618