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Federal hiring freeze could slow SSD claim adjudications

There's a saying that the wheels of justice turn slowly. So, too, do the wheels on the Social Security disability system. As we have discussed previously, those seeking SSD benefits often face extensive waits before obtaining an adjudication of their claim. This wait time can leave disabled individuals struggling to get by, especially when their medical condition has left them unable to work to earn the wage they so desperately need.

Now, the already long wait times for SSD claimants may be getting longer. President Trump recently announced a federal hiring freeze, which directly affects the Social Security Administration. The SSA has approximately 1,650 judges on hand right now, but they were hoping to increase that number to 1,900 by the end of 2018. Such an increase was hoped to bite into the current 526 day average wait time for disability claim adjudications. Now, though, many are afraid that the backlog will continue to grow, and wait times will only grow longer.

As disheartening as this may sound, it should not deter Floridians from pursuing a disability claim, if needed. After all, some politicians have indicated that the hiring freeze is temporary. Additionally, those who wait to file their claim may only be pushing back the time when they can obtain the compensation they need.

Therefore, those who have been diagnosed with a disabling condition, or suffered a debilitating injury, should consider the strength of their disability claim. One way to cut down wait time is to put forth the best claim possible under the circumstances. Although it may still take a while to receive an initial decision, putting forth a strong claim could eliminate the need to appeal the initial decision. Thus, those who want assistance with crating their claim should consider whether the help of an attorney would be beneficial.

Source: Bloomberg, "Trump's Hiring Freeze May Worsen 526-Day Disability Case Backlog," Josh Eidelson, Jan. 27, 2017

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