People who rely on Social Security Disability and those who are trying to get approved for benefits have probably been watching the news closely to see if there is any relief on the way for the program. If you recall, the program was in some danger of financial issues that could have resulted in insolvency, but some fixes have been approved that will help the program.
These changes come with the recent two-year budget deal that was recently sent to President Barack Obama. The budget includes the money that is needed to pay benefits for the next three years, which is good news for current and future recipients.
The bill also includes funding that will help to clear the backlog of cases that are awaiting decisions regarding the issuance of benefits. Some applicants who were appealing a denial were waiting as long as two years for that decision. The new funding for hiring judges will help to clear the backlog and hopefully reduce the decision times.
The increase in judges isn’t going to happen quickly. Instead, the goal of the Social Security commissioner is to increase the number of administrative law judges that handle disability cases to 1,925 by 2017. Currently, there are 1,450 administrative law judges who handle these cases.
These changes can mean positive things for people who are trying to obtain SSD benefits. If you have applied for benefits and were denied, you have the right to file an appeal. While the number of administrative law judges is still low, you should still move forward with your appeal as soon as possible to ensure that you file it before your deadline.