Friday, September 28, 2012

Social Security disability: still waiting

I filed a claim for Social Secuity disability benefits last year. I'm very lucky to have been covered by disability insurance through my former employer, so I'm not in financial straits. As a practical matter, I don't have a lot at stake, as almost all of any SSDI payments I receive would be offset by a corresponding decrease in the benefits I'm currently getting. Nevertheless, I'm getting a taste of the frustrating delays in the processing of claims. My initial application was denied on the grounds that illness was not "severe." As a legal matter, this seems to be utter bullshit, and I filed a request for reconsideration.

Six months later, I was still waiting, and I contacted SSA to figure out what was going on. I was actually able to speak to the examiner who was processing my claim. He told me that he'd completed his work, but that my claim had been selected for "quality assurance review," which he said would probably be completed in a week or so. Thirty days later, and I'm still waiting. I did a few searches and found some helpful information about the quality assurance process. The bottom line seems to be that this process--for which cases are ostensibly selected at random--may be tilted toward review of decisions that grants benefits, may have a tendency to result in disability onset dates being adjusted later in time, and delays the processing of a claim by anything from days to months. Very helpful information about the process here.