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$288 million project to improve Social Security fails to work

Any person who is applying for Social Security disability benefits in Georgia should be aware of the inevitable complications that can arise throughout the process. People who are trying to navigate the system alone can get frustrated and may ultimately give up or accept a denied application. However, with a little information and some legal support, people can have the confidence to aggressively pursue the benefits they deserve.

Currently, there are two main problems with the system: an overwhelming number of applicants and an excruciatingly slow approvals process. The Social Security Administration is quite aware of these issues and has tried to identify solutions, but many of their efforts have fallen short. For example, recently it was reported that the SSA has spent $288 million on a new computer system that is supposed to streamline the application process significantly. Unfortunately, the agency has evidently mismanaged the implication of the system and a consulting firm has stated that the system doesn't even work.

Six years ago, work began on developing the Disability Case Processing System. Since then, little progress has been made and the project has been riddled with problems. The consulting firm assigned to evaluate the project has stated that they found serious issues, the worst of which was the fact that no one person was in charge of making sure the process was progressing. 

After such an enormous investment, expectations were high that they new computer program would be essential in speeding up the processing of claims and keeping track of the status of applications and benefit payouts. The system apparently has the potential to dramatically improve the SSDI program and ease the application process for people who cannot work and depend on the financial assistance. And yet, there seems to be no indication that it will be up and running any time soon.

This is just the latest example of how organizational problems and antiquated systems plague the Social Security program. It highlights the fact that despite efforts to improve the system, it remains broken and complicated. That is why it can be so beneficial to work through the application or appeals process with an attorney who is much more familiar with the system than people who are typically going through it for the very first time.

Source: CBS News, "Social Security IT project cost $300M and it doesn't work," July 24, 2014

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