I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by WNBC 4 New York investigative reporter Chris Glorioso on the incredible backlog that New Yorkers must face while waiting for a hearing before a Social Security Administrative Law Judge. New York’s “wait time” has skyrocketed in the last six years from an average of 337 days wait to over 740 days wait!
The old adage says “justice delayed is justice denied”. And in the world of Social Security Disability such delays can absolutely wreck individuals and their families. As I mentioned in the interview I have actually had clients die while waiting for benefits. I have also seen firsthand the utter devastation these delays cause. Foreclosures, divorces, delayed recovery due to stress and worry and many other problems.
What gets lost in the statistics and numbers is that we are dealing with people. Each claimant is an individual with her own challenges, worries and concerns. Imagine being physically incapacitated from work, struggling to regain your health, and then having to wait upwards of two years to finally get in front of an overworked Administrative Law Judge who can, at best, give you twenty to thirty minutes of time!
And it is important to remember. Social Security Disability Insurance is an insurance benefit YOU PAID FOR. You provided a premium in every single pay check you ever received. Social Security Disability is supposed to provide you a monthly benefit if you become unable to work due to a permanent disability – yet you have to wait two years to even get a decision. Justice Delayed…Justice Denied.