May 25, 2021
As Social Security advocates, our team values keeping claimants informed about things that could impact their Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) application. From approximately November of 2020 through February of 2021, we observed a trend that the Social Security Administration (SSA) was taking longer than usual to issue decisions on pending Social Security claims.
This slowdown was most apparent at the initial level of the SSDI application process for many months, but SSA has recently dedicated more resources to this issue and so the number of initial decisions has increased. This recent uptick in decisions is encouraging, but it has also contributed to an overall decrease in reconsideration decisions being issued as claim review efforts are being concentrated more heavily on initial applications.
These delays are the result of several factors brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the transition to remote work and challenges with scheduling appointments and obtaining records from medical offices – both of which are key components in the claims evaluation process. Wait times to receive an SSDI claim decision vary by state, as both resources and claim volume can differ substantially from one office to the next.
The SSDI advocacy team at The Advocator Group (now doing business as Brown & Brown Absence Services Group) is following these trends very carefully, and we remain optimistic that as COVID-19 cases decrease, SSA will be able to deploy more resources to reviewing and issuing decisions on SSDI claims. In the meantime, visit SSA’s blog for regular updates on their COVID-19 response and key claim evaluation trends, including this recent post from April 26, 2021.
Nothing in this post is intended as advice or a suggestion to elect or not elect to claim benefits of any kind, including Social Security benefits, nor is it intended as financial advice in any way. The decision to claim benefits is a personal one that is contingent upon each individual’s unique circumstances.