The following story appeared in The New York Times and was reprinted in today's Virginian-Pravda. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/10/us/10disability.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
I myself have received Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) for 15 years now. I won it on appeal, and the 1992 appeal took just over a month. Now read what's become of the system. What's so crucial about the disability payments is work clearance with such a condition. In my case, I had doctor's orders not to work for six months. For many, they never will be able to return to full-time work. It's the payments that cover the bills.
Two things need to be done here:
1. Hire the additional appeals judges.
2. Change the rules for the original cases. If two-thirds are winning on appeal (like I did), obviously the original case standards are too burdensome. That would lessen the number of appeals that need to be heard.
I wish this story had appeared two days earlier. As my Congressperson, Thelma Drake, was at the Light Rail Groundbreaking, I would have given her an earful.