Appeals for disability benefits skyrocket in Texas

Texas residents who are unable to work because of a disabling condition can be very frustrated by the process of applying for and receiving disability benefits. Whether a person is temporarily disabled, has developed a disabling condition or has never been able to work because of a disability, there are resources available to help people get through a difficult time.

Many of the people who qualify for government benefits are veterans of the U.S. military. Veterans across Texas have developed a physical or mental disability during their service and have the option of pursuing disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. However, just like everyone else in a similar position, veterans often struggle to get a claim approved and typically need to file an appeal to get benefits.

Unfortunately, the number of veterans in Texas who currently have an appeal pending is the highest in the entire country.

According to reports, nearly 35,000 veterans in Texas have submitted an appeal for benefits after initially having their claim denied, and the wait is longer than it has ever been. It is very common for an initial claim to be denied, but the sheer number of people who have submitted an appeal and have to wait an average of 923 days to get an answer is astounding.

Sources suggest that the number of appeals has increased dramatically because there was a push to resolve a huge number of first-time claims that have been building up in a backlog. Going through more of these meant that more people were rejected and needed to file an appeal, as about 90 percent of first-time claims are rejected.

This system is extremely frustrating for the people who are unable to work and are depending on these payments to make ends meet. Without this assistance, people may be unable to take care of themselves or get the medical treatment they need, and their families can suffer greatly as well. That is why it can be so important to speak with an attorney who understands this process and can help people navigate the system. With legal support, people seeking disability benefits in Texas can get help filling out the application correctly, pursuing an appeal and staying on top of a claim's status.

Source: Austin American-Statesman, "Claims appeals spike for Texas veterans," Jeremy Schwartz, March 16, 2014