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New report finds disabled Americans had to wait more than a year to get federal assistance

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A new report released Friday by the Office of the Inspector General found that several Americans on disability had to wait longer than 1 year to get federal assistance.

The report found that the Social Security Administration (SSA) field office had not completed processing the claims in a timely manner.

According to the report, the SSA generally processes Social Security Income disability claims in 3 to 4 months.

Is the SSA getting better or worse?

The OIG has identified six individuals whose SSI disability claims were either not processed or underpaid. Prior reports identified 1,888 individuals who received about $19.3 million in past-due disability benefits because SSA allowed their claims but never paid them.

Despite these findings, the social security administration claims it has gotten better at processing claims.

How does the disability process work?

To receive SSI disability payments or Disability Insurance (DI) benefits,2 an individual must file an application with SSA. SSA field office staff determines whether the applicant meets the non-medical criteria for disability;3 and the State DDS makes the disability determination.

Once the DDS makes a determination, it sends the claim to the SSA field office for final processing. The SSA receives 2 to 3 million new disability claims a year.

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