In a post we shared from the Detroit News a couple days ago there was a line that read, “Only Indianapolis, Indiana and Madison, Wisconsin trail the Oak Park office.” The excerpt was speaking about the average processing times of Social Security Disability decisions by these aforementioned offices. While searching for Social Security Disability news today we ran across a very well written article by Chris Hubbuch of the LaCrosse Tribune in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
The article starts out by sharing the story of a very hard working man named Craig Hams who received a kidney and pancreas transplant in 1998, then returned back to work. After returning back to work, his body became too weak for the rigors of his job and he applied for Social Security Disability benefits. He was, like most, denied in the initial application stage. He then took it to reconsideration. Again he was denied. After this he applied for a hearing. Then he waited for two years.
During this time frame, without work, Mr. Hams became homeless and stayed as he put it, “…wherever I could hang my hat.” Stories like these have become far too common and a simple search on Google would result in many of them. With that being said, for every story present in the media there will be many more that do not get coverage.
While the backlog in Wisconsin may be to the bad extreme, Mr. Hams and those in a similar situation don’t have six month, much less 2 years, to wait for a decision or a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge.
Some of these stories may close with a sad ending, but Mr. Hams, in the end, was able to get a hearing with an ALJ and was awarded benefits and also back pay from the time his appeal was pending.
The whole story is worth a read and you can access it here.