The period of free-fall before the parachute opens is a burden to the judges, claimants and communities alike. For those who are denied and decide to appeal to a hearing with an administrative law judge, the wait time is staggering, usually exceeding a year. Most cases drag on for nearly two years. During that time, the lack of resources these disabled individuals have causes a decline in their health and increased reliance on other social programs for survival. Even if an individual is successful, they often wait months until their parachute finally opens and they receive that first check.