Senator Pressures SSA to End Backlogs

The stories of New Mexicans waiting on their government inspired U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman to take action.

There was “Rick,” a 36-year-old leukemia patient, pipeline inspector and father of four, who had to file for bankruptcy after waiting more than 18 months on his appeal for a government disability check.

And there was the 48-year-old wife and mother suffering from Wegener’s granulomatosis. She’s on oxygen 24 hours a day and left her job at a catering service in July 2003. Hoping to get better, she waited to apply for benefits until July 2006. She was denied. and her appeal is still pending.

Then there’s the 61-year-old cancer victim from Grants who died in May, 17 months after filing for benefits.

At the end of September, 746,744 Americans were waiting for a hearing to ask an administrative law judge to overturn their initial denial of disability checks from the Social Security Administration. The average wait at the Albuquerque field office is about the same as the national average – 17 months. See article here:

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