On November 4, 2019, the Social Security Administration announced the Wednesday reopening of local SSA offices. All SSA offices will now remain open for customer services the entire work week, and no longer close for services Wednesday at noon.
Newly appointed Social Security Commissioner, Andrew Saul, identified multiple areas of concern and proposed corrective action. In addition to reopening on Wednesdays, agency workers will no longer be permitted to work remotely from home. Commissioner Saul implies that the lack of efficiency and accuracy is an issue related to worker competency, and that by increasing managerial oversight, this will resolve some of the problems. In my experience, the problems with the local office are not worker competency, but rather, the massive lack of funding to hire the appropriate number of workers, and lack of funds to properly train. Initial reactions from SSA workers is unsurprisingly negative and will likley cause an increased exodus of workers, which will further reduce the social security disability process.
Interestingly, Commissioner Saul begins his discussion of problem areas by incorrectly implying that favorable disability decisions are unsupported, stating “[y[ou should expect that we will properly pay benefits to only the folks who are entitled.” This is false. I and other lawyers across the national have watched the social security disability insurance (SSDI) award rate fall more than 30% over the last six years, with a corresponding massive increase in unsupported denials. It is incredulous to believe people who do not deserve disability are somehow cheating the system.
The outrageous fact is the extreme increase in denials, for Claimants with incredibly well documented and supported medical evidence. People who have worked their entire life, dutifully paying into the required SSDI program, are routinely denied benefits after a three+ year wait, on the basis extremely contorted facts or contrived evidence. This, is the real problem Commissioner Saul should investigate.
For more information or to read the letter, click here
As always, if you have questions about a Social Security Disability, please call lawyer Will Viner at 720-515-9012 or email, Info@vinerlaw.com.