50 Ariz. St. L.J. 365 (2018). Luci Davis.
In 2015, Social Security Disability Insurance paid out $143,282 million in cash benefits. Although one might balk at that amount, the average monthly benefit to the roughly nine million eligible recipients was only about $1,165—just “barely enough to keep a beneficiary above the 2014 poverty level ($11,670 annually),” or $972.50 a month. Over one million individuals are currently waiting for a disability appeals hearing decision from an administrative law judge (“ALJ”). Those individuals can expect to wait between nine to twenty-seven months to receive a decision once they file a petition for a hearing. If a claimant receives an unfavorable result from the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) and appeals to a federal district court, she can expect to wait between three to twelve years before receiving the court’s decision, which may only remand her case to an ALJ for additional proceedings.