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Wait time grows for disability insurance hearings, Allsup says

BELLEVILLE — The national average wait time for a Social Security Disability Insurance hearing has reached 596 days, putting at even greater risk the almost 1.1 people with disabilities who are stuck in that backlog, according to Belleville-based Allsup, a national provider of disability benefits representation.

allsuplogoThe Social Security Administration now predicts the measurement will reach an all-time high of 605 days at the end of the fiscal year in September.

Efforts to lessen the backlog, including a $90 million allocation in the agency’s budget for additional staffing, have not tamed the rising wait times and are not expected to for many years.

“To have to wait almost two years just for a hearing on whether they can receive the benefits they have paid for and been promised is an unnecessary and unfair hardship for people already living with disabilities,” said Mike Stein, assistant vice president, Allsup. “For many claimants, the application process is beginning to feel permanent.”

One way to avoid the hearing backlog is to apply for disability benefits with help from an experienced representative at the very beginning of the process instead of waiting until the appeal levels. Allsup has helped more than 275,000 people to receive their Social Security disability benefits.

Allsup offers an online tool called “empower by Allsup,” which combines an SSDI assessment for eligibility and Social Security disability application support, along with return-to-work guidance for those who may medically recover.

Allsup said customers who receive help applying for disability benefits have an average initial success rate over 50 percent, compared to the national average of 33 percent with the initial SSDI application.

Find more information about filing a Social Security disability application, go to

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