The average time to process a claim for Kansans with disabilities jumped this fiscal year, despite millions of dollars invested into the Social Security system to address an issue one official called “inhumane” and “unacceptable.”
Mike Stein, assistant vice president of operations strategy and planning for TrueHelp, said he has “a lot of words” about what people face who are unable to work and whose lives may be destroyed as they await a decision from Social Security on whether they deserve disability benefits. An average disability check is $1,197 per month, he said.
“Every month that goes by when that person who is simply asking for a benefit that they paid for during their working years doesn’t seem fair,” he said. “All that while, they might not be able to afford their medications or regular treatment on top of the other financial stresses. Their condition probably is going to get worse because of their financial strain. They were prescribed one pill a day, and they take a half a pill a day because of cost.” ...
"A lot of damage gets done when someone can no longer work,” he said. “We see the physical ailment turn into a mental ailment at times. The depression from losing a big part of one’s identity. Neighbors looking at you. A lot of pressure, all the way you’re waiting on Social Security. We hear the stories of them taking out loans, losing the house, the spouse has to get another job. These are not outlier stories.”