The Grand Rapids Press recently ran an AP story that describes the long waits. Here are some highlights from the article:
- The Social Security Administration is expecting about ten percent more applications this year.
- Most people who file an application for disability benefits are denied at the application level.
- Most people who have an application denied drop their claims.
- If you file an appeal, there is a good chance you will eventually get the benefits you deserve.
Another report shows that waiting times for Social Security appeals in Michigan are among the longest in the nation. Out of 144 Hearing Offices in the nation, Grand Rapids ranked 138. Lansing ranked 142. Grand Rapids and Lansing are both part of the Chicago Regional Office, which is ranked 10th out of 10 Regional Offices for the time it takes to process an appeal.
In other words, Grand Rapids and Lansing have some of the longest waits in the nation. While this may seem like a negative, in reality it could mean that our local Michigan offices are given priority when it comes to getting additional resources to speed up processing times. As always, if you want to file a claim, you should contact Social Security by calling the Nationwide Hotline at (800) 772-1213, or by visiting your local Social Security Field Office. The longer you wait to apply for benefits, the longer it will take to get benefits, and you may be giving up thousands of dollars in back benefits.
If you or somebody you care about is unable to work full time because of a physical or mental disability, he or she may be eligible for Social Security benefits. The process of applying for benefits is confusing and time-consuming, so consider using an attorney. I offer free consultations, and can be reached at my Ionia, Lowell, or Grand Rapids office.