Sunday, June 08, 2008

How much does it cost to process a Social Security Disability Claim?

This is an interesting question (at least to me) and one that I've never considered. However, I came across an article and the article cited a spokesman for the social security administration.

What did the spokesman have to say about the processing costs of social security disability and SSI cases? At the application level, it takes $1,180.00 to process a case. This, I suppose, takes into the cost of the work done by a field office CR (claims reps take SSI disability applications and SSD applications in social security offices) and by a state agency (most are known as DDS, or disability determination services) disability examiner. Other costs, of course, probably include the cost of gathering medical records for disability cases (yes, doctors and hospitals charge for these), postage, paper, ink, and "what not" ("what not" is a fluid category that includes everything I am unable to think of at this particular moment).

However, these are the costs that occur at the initial claim level. Roughly thirty percent of claimants, nationwide, are approved at this level. Seventy percent are denied at this level and, from this group, of the individuals who choose to pursue their claim further and file disability appeals at least as far as the hearing level, more than half will eventually be approved (translation: no one should ever think of giving up after an initial denial).

According to the SSA spokesperson cited in the article, cases that are processed as far as the hearing level incur total processing charges of $4,759.00.

So, what does this tell you. It says one thing to me. If the federal government has an interest in cost containment (and they always do), it would be far wiser to make smarter decisions at earlier points in the system. By making "dumb" decisions, it forces claimants to go through a financially disastrous period of appeals (how could it not be so, when the time to get to a hearing can take two years or more) AND it costs the federal government more in case processing costs.

But, no, the federal government isn't wise. How could it be when you read, on a daily basis, of the monstrous amount of debt that's been piled up just in the last eight years alone?

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Prior Posts

Social Security Disability Criteria
How does Social Security decide if I am Disabled ?
Social Security Disability Denied
How does Social Security decide Disability cases?


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