Living with constant pain, needing ongoing medical care and being unable to work is the unfortunate story of several individuals in New Jersey and other states across the nation. Serious illnesses could be the reason a person must remain at home. Although this means that his or her health is taking top priority, it also means financial hardships because no income is being made.

Currently, there are about 150 million workers that are insured through Social Security disability not only for old age but also in cases where he or she suffers a serious injury or illness that prevents them from working before they hit retirement age. Estimates suggest that roughly 8.7 million disabled workers currently get an average of $1,172 a month, which is barely enough to live on based on current living standards.

Nevertheless, Congress has reduced the SSA’s operating budget back in 2010. This has resulted in an 11 percent cut when inflation is accounted for. The effects this has had include staff reductions, extensive hold times on calls placed for assistance and a backlog of claims being processed. This extended wait time for an initial decision or an appeal has resulted in applicants becoming worse off medically, homeless, bankrupt or even dead.

And based on the recently passed legislation in the House, it appears that the $10.5 billion operating budget of the SSA could be cut by an additional 4 percent. The result could be an even longer waiting period to receive these necessary financial benefits.

If you are seeking Social Security disability benefits, it is important to gain a full picture of the application process. This means understand what could occur if it is denied. Appealing a denied decision might take some time; however, it could provide applicants with the financial assistance they need because they can no longer work due to a disability.