Anybody who has applied for Social Security disability benefits knows that the wait times can be excessively long. Individuals who may be too sick, injured, or otherwise incapable of working can financially suffer while they await a determination of their SSD claim. This isn’t fair, but there is very little an individual can do except ensure that his or her claim is as thorough and convincing as possible to lessen the chances of denial and thereby decrease the time an appeal would have tacked onto the wait. For some disabled individuals, though, this may be changing.
The Social Security Administration recently announced that it has partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs to speed up the adjudication of veterans’ disability claims. The normal wait times, which can last months or even over a year, will be drastically reduced for veterans thanks to electronic medical records requests. One reason wait times are so long is because the SSA typically requests paper documentation, which can take months to receive. Now, the SSA will make all requests electronically, and all veterans’ records will be sent electronically, taking just minutes. This is significant, as the SSA makes about 15 million records requests each year.
Although the adjudication wait time for veterans may be drastically reduced, it does not mean that all of their claims will be granted. Instead, many of these individuals will continue to see their claims denied for a variety of reasons. When this happens, they may want to act on their right to appeal the denial.
During an appeal, an individual may be able to submit additional evidence supporting their claim. Therefore, these claimants need to make sure they are doing everything they can to present their case. For assistance in doing so, disabled veterans may want to speak with an attorney of their choosing.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Social Security and Veterans Affairs Partnership Means Faster Disability Decisions for Veterans,” Mark Hinkle, Nov. 9, 2016