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The Long Wait: Americans stuck waiting months for disability benefit decisions

  February 8, 2021 | By Rachel DePompa, FOX19

In the last decade, 110,000 Americans have died waiting for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Each year, thousands of people appeal disability insurance denials, and many of them ultimately win. The issue: A backlog means appeals cases can take months or even years to get before a judge.

Just two years ago, Ashunti Osei-Copling was at the top of her field, motivating crowds at industry events, winning awards as an insurance agent. The single mom of two owned a home and her own business. Then in 2019, she was stopped in her tracks.

At just 38 years old, Osei-Copling was diagnosed with stage 4 multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood.

“Then nothing. Then it just completely stopped. We moved in with family to help the transition of my children continuing their education in school. And I spent a lot of my time in the hospital in the beginning,” Osei-Copling said.

Osei-Copling is in the fight for her life. Last year, she was even put on Hospice care but made it out. In between the countless hospital trips and treatments and debilitating physical ailments, she’s no longer able to work. It’s a circumstance she and many Americans never saw coming.

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