While COVID transmissions accelerated, applications processed for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) froze in place. Not unlike most federal agencies, the Social Security Administration (SSA) had to close offices throughout Tennessee and the country during COVID. A proposal from the Biden Administration to increase funding for SSA in the 2022 budget could reduce the backlog. .
Disability delays impact felt in Knox County and statewide
Qualified recipients of SSDI include workers who have paid into Social Security for at least ten years and can no longer work as a result of a disability or illness. Their financial situation and assets does not in any way determine their monthly disbursement. Tennessee ranked on par or above average for all the three stage in the process – initial application, reconsideration, and hearing – last year.
Overall, the SSA backlog on applications awaiting a decision increased 30% from 2019 to 2020. Residents of Knox County can attest to the effects of the delay. They accounted for more than 5% of Tennessee residents who receive disability payments in 2019, according to the SSA’s latest figures.
Attorneys with disability experience
Delays in disability payments can aggravate already long-term health, especially after COVID. The application process requires patience and familiarity with the legal standards as well as the options available at every turn. Attorneys who specialize in all aspects of SSDI benefits may provide insight into your best course of action.