Applying for federal disability benefits is a precarious situation for workers who were either forced, or have chosen, to quit their jobs due to an injury or chronic medical condition. There are no guarantees an application will be approved, and it can be hard to find a job after waiting months for a decision on whether they qualify for the benefits. In new research documenting how long individuals wait for a decision on their initial disability applications to a Social Security Administration (SSA) field office, the average ranges from about seven to nine months. The entire process can take twice as long if SSA denies the request for benefits and the applicant appeals within the agency or to an administrative law judge or federal court, the researchers found. Wait times between the initial Filing and resolving all appeals fluctuated quite a bit, at least during the study’s time period –…
Originally Published on https://squaredawayblog.bc.edu/
I’m a veteran financial and economics reporter, most recently for The Boston Globe, who has also written for The Economist and other publications. I uncovered scandals during the savings and loan crisis in Texas back in the late 1980s, trekked around the world to cover finance and economics in the 1990s, and ventured into Boston neighborhoods to cover the recent subprime mortgage crisis.
While covering subprime mortgages, I began to see the importance of financial behavior and literacy. Wall Street excesses certainly fueled the crisis, but a poor understanding of complex financial products also played a major role. I interviewed dozens of homeowners in the grip of foreclosure who had agreed to home loans that they did not understand and that their brokers did not or could not explain to them. The consequences for these individuals – and the country – were disastrous.
I use the same dogged reporting skills to cover financial issues of growing importance today, including the personal crisis that concerns millions of baby boomers: Retirement.