The delays from filing for Social Security Disability to hearing are discouraging, disappointing and the prospects for improvement are dismal.

In Central Illinois, which covers Peoria, Bloomington, Pontiac, Springfield and Champaign, Illinois it takes 2.5 years to 3 years to get to hearing. That is devastating when you cannot work due to your disability.

There is no easy answer.

The Social Security Commissioner recently said that the problem is partially due to Administrative Law Judges who do not do their job and decide enough cases, and partially due to not having enough judges and support staff.

First of all, in my experience the judges in the Peoria region all work hard and hear many cases. The reality is that there are many more people applying for Social Security than there is staff that can keep up with the cases.   

The upcoming election is not going to change funding or staffing to the extent it will make any difference in the delays. Sorry, to be negative.

But that does not mean we should not be contacting federal officials- Congress persons and United States Senators, and reminding them of the about the terrible delays and encouraging them to do all that is possible to bring down the case backlogs.