Today the Social Security Administration (SSA) faces a record backlog of disability cases like Leal’s, with 750,000 vulnerable people waitingâ€”some for yearsâ€”for a hearing and growing more desperate each day.
“People have died waiting for a hearing,” Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue concedes. “This is America, and it is simply not acceptable for Americans to wait years for a final decision on a claim.”
Disability claims, officials say, have doubled since 2001 as millions of boomers in their 50sâ€”the years when working men and women are most prone to illness and disabilitiesâ€”have applied to collect the insurance. Despite a growing aging population and caseload, the agency hasn’t been able to afford to add workers. Congress has consistently cut the SSA’s budget requests since 2001, leaving the agency’s overall staffing at its lowest level in 34 years. See article here: