ABC Is Interested In Tomorrow's Hearing
From Tom Shine's blog, Politics As Usual, at ABC (the capitalization is Shine's and the bolding is mine):
She lived in Key West, Florida. One day her husband shot her 5 times in the liver and abdomen and then killed himself. In AUGUST 2004 she applied for social security disability benefits. Her disabilities were caused by the 5 wounds and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. After a delay, her claim was denied. In APRIL 2006, she requested a hearing. It took nearly two years, but in EARLY MARCH of 2008, she got her hearing. In LATE MARCH of 2008 SHE DIED. AFTER hear death social security ruled in her favor.
He lived in Charlotte, North Carolina and worked for 15 years as a pipe insulator. He usually also worked a second job. At age 52 he was suffering from congestive heart failure, chronic atrial fibrillation, pneumonia, obesity and peripheral artery disease. He applied for social security disability benefits in MARCH of 2006. He was denied. In NOVEMBER of 2006 he requested a hearing. He DIED on AUGUST 21, 2007. FOUR MONTHS LATER, on DECEMBER 27, 2007, social security RULED IN HIS FAVOR WITHOUT A HEARING.
Tomorrow, a group called the consortium for citizens with disabilities will testify before a house ways and means committee. They have a lot of stories to tell.
According to committee staffers, currently more than 1.3 MILLION Americans are waiting for a decision on their application for disability benefits. For those who APPEAL the wait for a decision can be as long as TWO to FOUR YEARS.
Severely under funded and understaffed, the Social Security Disability program has not been a priority for the President or most members of Congress.