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Social Security Administration receives exemption in deficit deal

With a backlog of about 1.4 million people waiting for a review of their benefits, things could start moving quicker for the Social Security Administration, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In this month’s deficit-reduction deal, the SSA was given an exemption that could ramp up the amount of continuing eligibility for disability reviews performed. Social Security officials say that a lack of funding has prevented the agency from removing beneficiaries who are no longer eligible and crawling to a snails-pace on reviewing new claims of those with disability qualifying conditions.

As an example, the Wall Street Journal reports that there were 850,000 continuing disability reviews in 2002 and only 200,000 in 2007. This slide may be due to the increase in the amount of disability beneficiaries, which has gone from 6.9 million in 2001 to 10.4 million as of this month.

According to an Allsup study of the SSA’s backlog state-by-state, social security disability applicants in Illinois will wait an average of approximately 500 days for their claim to be processed. There are nearly 25,000 cases pending in the state. The hope for the new review system is that these numbers can be reduced in the coming days.

It is our opinion that our clients cases are expedited by the timely submission of their current medical treatment records so that the Social Security Administration will recognize that their file is ready for a decision.