Disability Wait Averages 5 Years

TAMPA -

People filing for Social Security Disability at the Tampa office will join one of the longest waiting lists in the country. A local congresswoman says the average wait for benefits in Tampa is five years.

Shelly Burke explained how her diabetic neuropathy, arthritis and other conditions make it painful to walk, sit or work. The 40-year-old bookkeeper filed for Social Security Disability eight years ago. Her claim was finally approved Friday only after she got an attorney.

Congresswoman Kathy Castor invited Burke to speak saying her case isn't unusual. She says the average wait for a claimant hearing is five years. The Tampa Representative is filing legislation that would set deadlines for Social Security hearings and rulings.

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