SSI backlog: Thousands around Philly waiting more than two years for disability hearing

January 8, 2018
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Using a cane to balance her steps, Adrianne Gunter made her way to a small courtroom on the 21st floor of a Center City building where a judge awaited via video screen.

Gunter had been waiting 788 days for this hearing Dec. 13. The 33-year-old West Philadelphia native and University of the Arts graduate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2015, derailing her dreams of using her degree in television and film writing to work in the entertainment industry. Gunter, who lives with her...

Social Security Disability and Your Clients: The Real Story

January 4, 2018
Wealth Management

A primer on Social Security Disability Insurance, the program’s largely misunderstood non-retirement benefit.

Financial advisors have gained more knowledge about Social Security in recent years, especially when it comes to optimizing retirement benefits through delayed claiming. But have you taken the time to understand the ins and outs of Social Security’s non-retirement benefits—especially disability? 

Most people think of Social Security as a retirement program—and when...

Wait for a Social Security disability decision drags on months - and years - for many Ohioans

December 21, 2017
Cleveland Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio-- For tens of thousands of Ohioans applying for Social Security disability benefits, an underfunded and inadequately staffed federal system means months, and even years, of waiting to get in front of a judge and receive a decision on a claim.

More than 1 million people across the country are waiting on average more than 600 days--about 19 months-- for these hearings. In some parts of the country, the wait is longer than two years.

The Social Security...

A longer wait: Some now try nearly 3 years to get disability insurance

December 8, 2017
Tampa Bay Times

By the time Teralyn Fleming could finally plead her case to get federal disability insurance, she had been waiting two years and three months.

The wait was not a peaceful one — a blood clotting disorder pushed her out of the workforce in 2015 so she couldn’t continue her paralegal work. Multiple expensive surgeries and three children stretched her budget. She was threatened with eviction. She considered filing for bankruptcy, but it was too expensive.

Relief was supposed to...