Disability Claim Denials, Is This The Wrong Time To Be Disabled In America?

14 million Social Security disability applications were denied in a single decade, between 2000 and 2010, while the percentage of denials increased from 34 percent to 65 percent. Is this the wrong time to be disabled in America?

Please note the following headlines:

Federal traffic jam for the disabled washington time

Soldiers risk going broke while waiting for benefit checks Associated Press

Disability claims can be difficult to collect Wall Street Journal

It’s time to prevent billions of dollars in disability benefits from being needlessly denied.

Does the handicap safety net have holes?? If more than 60 percent of Social Security disability claims are denied initially, then why did 63 percent passed at the hearing stage? What causes the twist? Unfortunately, 39 percent of claimants give up before determining if they would be successful in the appeal process!

In 1999, 1.2 million Social Security disability claims were filed (48 percent of 579,000 were denied). In 2009, ten years later, 2.8 million Social Security Disability claims were filed (65 percent or 1,830,530 were denied). The number of disability applications more than doubled, while denials more than tripled. In one year, more than $23 BILLION dollars of annualized benefits were lost. That’s 1.8 million Americans who I will not do it collect benefits to which they thought they were entitled.

Based on the 2010 average payment to those who qualify, that represents more than $19.5 million of monthly benefits that will not be paid. Annualized, $23+ trillion dollars per year is an overwhelming amount of disappointment.

Many initial disability claims are denied for simple errors and omissions that have absolutely nothing to do with the claimant’s disability status. Think what it’s like to wait 17 months to find out you didn’t answer a question. You can then wait another 17 months after you’ve added a simple answer. There must be a better way. Those claims facing denials are filing an unprecedented number of appeals further burdening an already damaged system. With an average of almost 17 months waiting for a judge to hear your appeal, what’s going on in the meantime?

There are currently three-quarters of a million Americans trapped in the Social Security disability accumulation. Not being able to pay his bills causes the man of the house enormous mental anguish. The state of marital relations in these situations deteriorates rapidly. Soon our divorce courts will experience the same kind of backlog that the Social Security Administration now faces.

Is this the wrong time to be disabled in America?? Private insurers don’t pay tens of millions of dollars in disability benefits. More than 40 states jointly investigated how an insurer handles its disability claims. Another state established a system to control the management of everyone claim rejected. What led to the dramatic change in the handling of disability claims? Or has something changed and there is simply more adverse publicity?

As reported in USA Today… 22,500 veteran PTDS disability claim (it is denied ace personality terms. How can a personality disorder be diagnosed, assuming it existed prior to military service, when psychological evaluations are not performed prior to induction?

According to data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, more than 25 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking VA care have PTSD. And this statistic does not include mentally ill veterans who have not received treatment at the VA due to the stigma associated with PTSD. Meanwhile, families receive welfare and food stamps. Houses are being foreclosed on. Drugs and alcohol upset any hope of family harmony. Homelessness occurs! Suicides begin to take lives that the battlefield did not take.

A very simple but insurmountable hurdle is the application process itself. The VA has a long history of bureaucracy. The disability claim form itself is a 23-page document. How many vets are charged with 23 pages of paperwork? The word “harassment” comes to mind as a reason many veterans will never file a claim. A claim for benefits for which they were eligible.

Every year TRILLIONS of dollars in disability claims will continue to be denied by Insurers, Social Security and the Veterans Administration. It is imperative that claimants understand how to properly file a long-term disability claim, “doing it right” the first time, and dramatically improving the likelihood of collecting benefits.

The US Census Bureau recently projected a 75% increase in the population over 65 by 2030. That will increase the number of Americans over 65 to 69 million, more than 20% of the total population. . The aging of the population brings with it an automatic growth of disability “TSUNAMI”. Since the Americans with Disabilities Act requires disability insurers to continue disability coverage for people 65 and older, an older workforce warrants more claims.

We have not seen any valid credible sources that have identified any reason for the increasing rate of claim denials or what we will call “deterioration” of the disability claim. So I can offer what I think is going on behind the scenes of insurance claims departments.

Americans currently face the highest level of unemployment we have experienced in the last three decades. The current state of the economy has impacted our American workforce in disastrous proportions. There is a natural escalation in the incidence of disability claims with rising unemployment.

Mortgages are being foreclosed at an unprecedented rate. Several states have begun denying previously valid claims because Medicaid budgets have been overwhelmed. Is it any wonder that the cost of medical care, and not being able to afford it, is the leading cause of foreclosures?

To continue, we now have causes of disability that did not exist two decades ago. Carpal tunnel and chronic fatigue syndrome are diagnosed more than at any other time in our history. When we add fibromyalgia to the new list, we have an evolving problem that is creating a nightmare for disability insurers. These are known as “self-reported” disabilities in the sense that there are no specific medical tests that can diagnose these conditions. It’s easy to understand how disability claims examiners can be wary of “self-reported” symptoms. This makes it an onerous process for those who are actually harmed by one of these conditions to collect the benefits to which they are entitled.

In short, we are now facing a dramatic increase in the 20 percent of the population in an older age group. They are still working with a growing incidence of disability. Unemployment further aggravates the problem. And adding new causes of disability and our litigious society results in more UNFULFILLED PROMISES.

allan checkoway

Copyright 2011

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