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Suddenly disabled, unable to work and need benefits? Prepare for financial ruin first

Jeff Caplan, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Home and Consumer News

A Fort Worth woman who has had breast cancer, has undergone heart surgery and suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that limits her lung functionality to 54 percent, filed her initial disability claim two years ago. She isn't scheduled for her hearing until early 2018.

She said she is "appalled at the process" and was too scared to be quoted by name for this story because she feared jeopardizing her chances at winning her claim, or delaying the process further. She said she has "has always worked and paid my taxes," but is now in "serious financial problems." If not for her ex-husband helping her pay bills, she said she would have lost her house through this process.

Making the system more efficient simply isn't in the cards until Congress chooses to appropriately fund Social Security so it can hire more administrative staff and judges.

"The problem is not enough funding from Congress. The local people work hard and work long days," said a Fort Worth disability attorney who asked not to use her name because she represents clients in front of the judges.

"The local office is trying to do what they can, but Social Security has always been that third wheel. Congress always finds reasons why they don't want to fund it."

 

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