Heather Black

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Video: The Social Security Disability Process

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NORTHEAST Miss. (WCBI)-With the recent economy it can be hard to find jobs, but what about those who can’t work because of a disability. If you have applied for Social Security Disability benefits you know it can be a long process.WCBI speaks with one applicant who is still waiting for an answer.

After twenty years of working in the construction business, Chester Russell is now dealing with arthritis that makes it hard for him to complete everyday tasks like walking to the mailbox. Once he realized he could no longer work he applied for social security disability; which is taking longer than he expected.

“It took several people a long time talking to me to convince me that I was not able to work anymore and this is what I needed to do. But I have been working on this for a year and a half. I’m up to getting a court date told by my eternity and by my social security administration that it would be 11 months. I can starve to death in 11 months,” says Chester Russell.

Chester feels the process would move faster if the government changed the way they spend their money.

“This is my complaint. Why is it that people such as myself have to wait when our government sends billions of dollars over seas every year to people we don’t even know. And that has never done anything for us. Let’s get things done at home first. Let’s take care of the people that work everyday,” says Russell.

For those who want to apply can go to their local Social Security Administration and fill out the proper disability paper work. Once an appointment is set up, the applicant’s medical records are reviewed and the decision will be made about their disability. If denied, the process can take even longer.

“The process typically takes a good while though. And that is what most people complaint is. Is that it takes so long because once a person gets denied initially on social security it probably takes 60-90 days on the reconsideration. And then it takes another 14 months an average in Mississippi to get a hearing once they request the hearing,” says William Starks.

The delay can help weed out frivolous cases, but for those who have legitimate claims the long wait can place them in a financial bind. While waiting Starks says, it’s important to keep medical records up to date and be patient.

“Stick out the process, be patient number one because a lot of times there is nothing an attorney can do to speed up to process,” says Starks.

80-90 percent of applicants are denied on their first entry.

If you would like to know more about the regulations for Social Security Disability log on to our website that’s WCBI.COM.