Thousands of people denied federal disability payments die each year while they wait for their chance to appeal the decision.
Congress in 2018 approved $90 million in additional funding for the Social Security Administration to reduce a backlog of people waiting to make their case to a judge that they were wrongly denied disability benefits.
In Tennessee, the average wait time for a hearing is 11 months, according to Social Security data. Those administrative judges then take more than one year — an average of 392 days — to make a decision.
More than 1 million Americans denied disability are currently waiting for a hearing.
Disability benefits include enrollment in Medicaid. A wrongful denial for uninsured applicants can mean the difference between access to ongoing health care — or ruinous medical costs and avoiding medical care altogether.
Advocates say it is critical state Disability Determination Services departments get the initial decision right.Read Full Article