Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Disability Claim Belleville Entrepreneur Says He Can Make Social Security Pay
If you work, you probably contribute 7.65 percent of every paycheck to Social Security.
Yet if you become disabled and apply for Social Security disability benefits, experts say chances are two out of three that you will be rejected.
Belleville entrepreneur James F. Allsup is working to fix that. In fact, if his company, Allsup Inc., takes over your disability claim, he says you have a 92 percent chance of success. Allsup, who was once a Social Security claims representative, says the federal agency has serious problems - problems that his company is ready to help solve. "We're always hearing how the Social Security Administration's retirement program is going broke, but there is very little attention given to the problems in the disability system," he said. For example, the Social Security Administration will borrow half a trillion dollars from the retirement fund over the next 16 years just to keep the disability fund solvent, he says. Allsup says the agency's other problems include: A backlog of more than a million unprocessed disability claims. An average five-month wait for a claimant to get an answer on an initial claim, with almost a year of additional delays if there is an appeal. A backlog of 1.5 million disability cases awaiting review, with a half-million more due for review each year. Allsup says his company and other private businesses can make headway in solving the problems. "We're the only people who understand all the pieces of the puzzle - Social Security, private health plans, disability insurers, health care providers - and the only ones who can make them all work together," he said." Allsup, 43, is a native of Cahokia. He has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Allsup says his firm was founded in 1984 as the first private, nationwide service representing applicants seeking Social Security disability payments. Since then the company has helped 25,000 people obtain benefits. From the beginning, the Allsup specialty has been simplifying the Social Security Administration's complicated disability insurance process. "In 1984, I was a one-man show, doing something that hadn't been tried before," Allsup said. "But the system had become so complicated, the need was obvious." For three consecutive years starting in 1990, his company was ranked on the "INC. …