Social Security disability cases time lag: Ohio is worst

SSDI wait now under 500 daysPicture this: You're an Ohioan who has worked 30 years in a job that pays into Social Security and you have a stroke and can't work any more. But thankfully, Social Security Disability Insurance will help out by sending you a monthly payment, right? Well, yeah, if you don't mind waiting more than a year while your claim is processed. After all, you're in line with around 770,000 Americans waiting to find out if they qualify.

A new state-by-state study of the state of SSDI claims is rather self-serving, since it was done by Allsup, a company that represents SSDI applicants, but nonetheless appears to have been well done. The results are eye-opening. The states with the fastest processing time?
  1. Delaware, 299.0 days
  2. Maine, 326 days
  3. Texas, 334.6 days
  4. Louisiana, 348.9 days
  5. West Virginia, 351.4 days
The worst states to live in if you're an SSDI applicant?
  1. Ohio, 590.8 days
  2. Michigan, 575.7
  3. Minnesota, 566.0
  4. Wisconsin, 562.6
  5. Indiana, 537.4
The lesson? Don't live in the upper Midwest if you need SSDI.

What states have the most residents that already collect SSDI?
  1. West Virginia, 8.7% of its residents
  2. Arkansas, 7.5%
  3. Kentucky, 7.3%
  4. Alabama, 7.3%
  5. Mississippi, 7.1%
Interestingly, the states with the highest obesity rates in the U.S.?
  1. Mississippi, 32.8%
  2. Alabama, 31.4%
  3. West Virginia, 31.2%
Overall, one out of every 25 Americans is collecting Social Security Disability Insurance. The average monthly total per person is $1,064.

Given the underfunding of Social Security, many applicants believe that the delays are an intentional stalling tactic to reduce the monetary burden of approved claims. Countering that argument, the agency began a program in 2007 to clear up this backlog, and has had some progress -- it increased hearings by 15% in 2009 over 2008, and reduced average processing time from 1 year and 149 days to 1 year and 126 days.

Unfortunately, the number of cases that need to be heard continues to rise, no surprise considering the economy and the aging boomer generation.
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