Sequester causes delay for social security claims - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Sequester causes delay for social security claims

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Federal budget cuts are being felt across the country and many of the people who depend on social security benefits are being forced to wait.

The sequester will end up hitting just about everyone and for some, there could be serious consequences.

The Social Security Administration was already dealing with an 8 percent budget cut and since the sequester, it has had to cut nearly all overtime, decrease office hours, and let go of temporary employees. This is causing a backlog in getting some people their benefits.

C. Greg Cates takes on clients who are waiting for a final benefit decision. Now, it is taking about six month or longer to process new claims.

"It affects people who are already in the application appeals process and we are waiting to hear and obtain social security disability benefits," said C. Greg Cates, Advanced Case Development CEO.

For those truly disabled and waiting to qualify, the system slow down comes at a point when they already have to prove to the government their disability has prevented them from working for one year, making many of them desperate for help.

Those collecting social security disability have to prove they cannot work because of mental or physical disability.

"It's their support mechanism, it's all they've got left to assist with their financial needs right now," explained Cates.

At this point, it appears that those already receiving benefits will not be affected as that process is computerized. For those in need of benefits, Cates' only advice is to get ready to wait.

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