In a previous blog, we reported on the extensive wait that Pennsylvania residents can face when filing for Social Security Disability benefits. Many residents of Tennessee struggle with the same frustrations, but their congressman, U.S. Rep. John Tanner, is hoping to do something about it.
Tanner is the chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security. In an article on nwtntoday.com, Tanner stated, “Since the beginning of 2009, the hearings backlog has begun to slowly decline. This shows that Congress’ investment in SSA is starting to pay off.” Tanner and the subcommittee have urged the Social Security Administration to continue to focus on reducing the backlog in disability claims. “Because applicants often have little or no income while awaiting a decision on benefits, the backlog has caused severe hardship to hundreds of thousands of Americans with significant disabilities,” Tanner said in a statement.
Beth Bates, a Jackson, TN attorney who works with disability claimants, testified before the subcommittee about the impact the backlog has had on her clients. Bates said, “Foreclosures and bankruptcies have increased, with claimants losing their homes and vehicles and their economic stability.”
Tanner and the subcommittee have made reducing the disability backlog a priority that will help social security disability claimants not only in Tennessee, but in all states.