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 disabled traffic jam The Washington Times
Soldiers risk bankruptcy 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 unnecessarily denied.
Does the safety net for the disabled have holes?? If more than 60 percent of Social Security disability claims are denied initially, then why did 63 percent approved at the hearing stage? What causes the return? Unfortunately, 39 percent of claimants give up before determining whether they will be successful in the appeal process.
In 1999, 1.2 million Social Security disability applications were filed (48 percent of 579,000 were rejected). In 2009, ten years later, 2.8 million Social Security disability applications were filed (and 65 percent or 1,830,530 were rejected). The number of disability claims more than doubled, while denials tripled. In one year, more than $ 23 TRILLION dollars of annualized benefits were lost. That’s 1.8 million Americans who not collect the 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 in 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 about what it’s like to wait 17 months to find out that you didn’t answer a question. Then you can wait another 17 months after you’ve added a simple answer. There has to be a better way. Those facing claim denials are filing an unprecedented number of appeals that further strain the already damaged system. With an average of almost 17 months waiting for a judge to hear your appeal, what is happening in the meantime?
There are currently three-quarters of a million Americans trapped in Social Security disability arrears. Not being able to pay his bills causes enormous mental anguish in the man of the house. The state of marital relations in these situations deteriorates rapidly. Soon our divorce courts will experience the same kind of backwardness that the Social Security Administration 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 their disability claims. Another state established a system to scrutinize the handling of each Claim rejected. What led to the drastic change in the handling of disability claims? Or has something changed and there is more adverse publicity?
As reported in USA Today … 22,500 Veteran PTDS disability claim (is denied ace personality disorders. How is it possible that a personality disorder is diagnosed, assuming it existed before 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 Iraqi and Afghan veterans seeking care at the VA have PTSD. And this statistic does not include mentally ill veterinarians who have not received treatment at the VA due to the stigma associated with PTSD. Meanwhile, families receive social assistance and food stamps. Mortgages are being foreclosed. Drugs and alcohol interrupt any hope of family harmony. Homelessness Happens! Suicides begin to claim 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 used to 23 pages of paperwork? The word “bullying” comes to mind as one reason many veterans will never file a claim. A claim for the benefits for which they were eligible.
Each year, TRILLIONS of dollars in disability claims will continue to be denied from Insurers, Social Security and the Veterans Administration. It is imperative that claimants understand how to properly file a long-term disability claim, “getting it right” the first time and dramatically improving the likelihood of receiving benefits.
The US Census Bureau recently projected a 75 percent increase in the population 65 and older by 2030. That will bring the number of Americans 65 and older to 69 million, more than 20 percent from the total population. The aging of the population brings with it an automatic growth of the “TSUNAMI” disability. Since the Americans with Disabilities Act requires disability insurers to continue disability coverage for those 65 and older, an older workforce guarantees more claims.
We have not seen any valid creditable source that has identified any reason for the increasing rate of claim denials or what we will call “deterioration” of disability claims. Therefore, I can offer what I believe is happening in the backroom of the 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 foreclosed at an unprecedented rate. Several states have started denying previously valid claims as Medicaid budgets have become overwhelming. Is it any wonder that the cost of health 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 being 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 because there are no specific medical tests that can diagnose these conditions. It is 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 negatively effective by one of these conditions to collect the benefits to which they are entitled.
In short, we now face a dramatic increase in 20 percent of the population in an older age group. They are still working with an increasing incidence of disability. Unemployment further exacerbates the problem. And adding new causes of disability and our society in litigation results in more UNCOVERED PROMISES.