There is no question that the Social Security Disability (SSD) program takes a long time. When you apply, you may have to wait several months or years for the initial decision. In most cases, people do not have their first application approved. As a result, you may have to wait years for approval during the appeals process.

A Dec. 27 report describes in detail how difficult it is for people who get caught up in this long-term waiting game. One woman, 60, has chronic pain. She has spinal stenosis, is diabetic, has depression, has high blood pressure and kidney disease. By all accounts, she is someone who should qualify for SSD. Perhaps not surprisingly, she has been denied twice.

She appealed the most recent denial in 2017. It was August when she submitted her paperwork. It took until November 2018 to have her appeal heard. Even though it was heard, she still doesn’t have the results.

In her case, she is living in pain. In other people’s cases, they’ve died while waiting for an approval. In 2016, 8,699 people in America died while waiting for disability insurance. In 2017, even more people passed away while waiting. The death toll hit 10,002.

What can you do if you are stuck in this long-term process?

If you have been denied disability or need to make an appeal, it is a good idea to work with an attorney who can help make sure your paperwork is in order. If there is enough evidence, the paperwork is filled out correctly and you do not delay, you will have a better chance of having an approval in the future.