Social Security Disability is broken. Many are suffering and dying on wait lists.
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More than 1 million Americans await a hearing to see whether they will qualify for disability payments from Social Security, with the average wait nearly approaching 2 years or longer leaving many of them dying before approval. All of them have been denied FICA at least once, with most applications rejected in the initial stages. This system and the decision on most cases often depend on a single individual or Administrative Law Judge that do not know the extent of the injury or disability. In 2016 alone 7400 people on the wait list died before FICA payments were awarded. That equals more that 1 person an hour. Many other applicants have endured unconscionable hard ships waiting on FICA payments, including; loss of medical benefits, bankruptcy, foreclosure and becoming homeless. These are American workers who worked for many years and contributed to SSA-D hoping to secure a small sum in order to carry on beyond a disability, or ability to work and retire. Social Security and Social Security Disability is NOT an entitlement as many politicians want us to believe. This was money earned and taken as a tax for the sole purpose to help the American workers maintain a standard of living should something unforeseen happen, or to supplement an income in retirement.
I am one of these individuals who has been pushed aside by this system. I am 59 years old and suffer from severe lower back pain, knee pain, tingling and sharp pain in both arms and legs, spasmodic right hand movements and left foot movements. I have hypertension and diabetes which results in many of the medications prescribed for my pain, not being compatible with the hypertension and diabetic medicine. I worked diligently for 41 years of my 59 years. In December of 2011 I was advised by my family physician and orthopedic surgeon to apply for disability. Reluctant to file for these payments, I waited until January 3, 2013. With the insistence of my family physician and back surgeon I filed for FICA payments and was immediately turned down. I went through the complete appeals process with an attorney and was turned down. I have since reapplied for FICA insurance payments with the assistance of another attorney in February 2017. Since that time, I have been turned downed again and have appealed the decision. The appeal was again denied on September 07, 2017. My attorney has again appealed the decision and now we await another hearing date in front of an Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security Administration. This process for me has taken almost 5 years with no favorable results. My condition has continued to deteriorate. My wife has carried the monetary burden of my condition over these years, but it has created a hardship and both medical bills and other than living expense bills have been placed on the back burner. We have advised the creditors of our situation, but our explanation has fallen on deaf ears. Many of these unpaid bills are now in the hands of collection agencies.
My story is just another saga in the long list of deserving Social Security Disability applicants that have been turned down by this broken system. We as hard working American citizens have paid into this system in good faith and need to band together to assert ourselves to change this problematic organization into an efficient and well run department. We need to make clear to our representatives in congress and the senate that what we and our employers paid into for all of our working years is NOT an entitlement, but an insurance policy we paid for.
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