When a disability stops you from working, nothing makes your bills stop coming in. You probably have even more expenses than you previously did, especially those centered around your medical needs.

That’s what makes the wait for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits so hard. It’s a very long wait — one that often leads to serious consequences for those in need.

According to recent reports, roughly 110,000 SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicants who were denied benefits after filing their initial claim died between 2008 and 2019 waiting to hear if their appeals were successful. The logical conclusion, since these applicants passed away within a couple of years (or less) after submitting their claims, is that all of those people suffered from serious, disabling conditions and that their initial claims should have been approved.

The median wait time to get a decision on an appeal improved in 2019 to 506 days — well more than a year. That’s down, however from the 839 days median time in 2015. During all that time, disability applicants often have to scrape by without the cash assistance they need to avoid bankruptcy. They often also lack the medical insurance they need to keep treating their conditions, which leads to worsening health or death.

These figures illustrate a stark reality: Valid SSDI claims do get denied — and the results can be disastrous when that happens. Claims examiners are under pressure to process applications as quickly as possible, so there’s no room for mistakes or ambiguous information in your file. Talk to an experienced Social Security Disability attorney here in Wisconsin about your situation.