The Social Security disability benefit (SSD) program has a massive backlog. Stories abound of applicants waiting months and months for notice of whether their application for benefits was approved or denied.
One unforeseen benefit to this problem: the amount of money available in this program is much more stable than once predicted.
How has a longer wait time helped the SSD program? As noted in a recent piece by The Hill, current estimates anticipate the funds for the SSD program will run out in 2028. Five years later than previous estimates.
The change is the result of fewer claimants taking part in the program, potentially due to positive economic growth. Despite the reduction in claimants, the backlog continues to grow. The current number of applicants waiting to hear if their applications are approved or denied is estimated at 1.1 million. These applicants can expect to wait an average of 583 days to get a hearing to determine their eligibility for benefits.
What does this mean for applicants? Since the fund appears more stable, those who qualify for these benefits may be more likely to receive the funds they need. However, they could also find themselves caught in the backlog of applicants waiting for approval.
It is important to note that applicants are wise to seek legal counsel. An experienced SSDI benefits lawyer can review your application and aid in putting together a successful request. Your lawyer can also help in the event of a denial. In many cases an appeal is possible.