Abromson & Carey, Attorneys at Law
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Social Security Administration's customer service on the decline

Because of budget restrictions, the Social Security Administration has been scaling back on the services it offers applicants and recipients both in New Jersey and throughout the rest of the country. These reductions have had an impact on the experience that people throughout the country might have when interacting with the Administration.

Perhaps the most disturbing of these statistics is that those who have been denied Social Security Disability benefits have had to wait longer to be heard on an appeal. In the face of the glut of new applications during the recent economic downturn, the wait time for an appeal has skyrocketed. In 2016, applicants wait an average of 540 days to have an appeal heard, up from 360 days as of five years ago. Currently, more than one million people are waiting to have their appeals heard.

Budget constraints have resulted in diminished services in other respects as well. For example, people who call in to the Administration's toll-free hotline can expect to wait a longer time on hold, up to 15 minutes. One in ten callers will not get through on the first try and will get a busy signal instead. Tight finances have also spelled longer wait times for a face-to-face appoint at one of the Administration's field offices.

Although some of these delays are inevitable and beyond the control of any one person, having the right representation can prove helpful in navigating through a system that often can seem overly bureaucratic. This is especially tre for a New Jersey resident who desperately needs the assistance that disability benefits offer.

Source: The Washington Post, "Falling Social Security service; you don't get what you pay for," Joe Davidson, June 10, 2016

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