The Dayton Daily News recently reported that the Dayton office of the Social Security Administration had the second worst record in the United States for processing Social Security Disability appeals. However, its overall record has improved, and the office is no longer ranked with the slowest 20 offices in the country.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has noted that greater use of electronic records by hospitals and clinics could go a long way to reducing wait times. He also noted that another improvement is already in place -- the option of holding hearings by videoconferencing - that could also speed up the appeals process. Brown, D-Ohio, said, "This is important because these are life and death situations for people who have lost jobs and are unable to go to work and need an answer from their government about whether they qualify for Social Security disability,"
Only a small fraction of individuals whose initial application for SSD benefits was denied take the next step and appeal their cases. In Ohio for example, 21,511 disabled individuals filed appeals after their initial claims were denied in fiscal year 2011. Of these, 2,188 were filed at the Dayton office.
The average wait time in fiscal 2011 for people who appealed their SSD claims through the Dayton office was an average of 491 days. The national average was 345 days. Only the office in Buffalo, New York, took longer to render decisions on SSD appeals. In fiscal 2010, the Columbus office held the position of worst turnaround time on appeals; the Dayton office was the second-worst in that year as well.
The Dayton office has improved its overall wait time for initial disability claims to 397 days, a significant improvement over its average wait time of 596 days in fiscal year 2010. However, the Dayton office is still the slowest in the state of Ohio.
Individuals with disabilities whose initial application for SSD benefits was denied often turn to advocates such as those at Binder & Binder®, the national Social Security Disability firm. We have offices throughout the United States, including Ohio.
Source: Dayton Daily News, "Investigation into delayed social security benefits prompts inquiry," by Cornelius Frolik, Aug. 16, 2012.