As you’re probably aware, the federal government shutdown began on Tuesday after Congress, for the first time in 17 years, was unable to agree on a budget resolution. The federal fiscal year begins n Oct. 1, which means that the laws allowing annual federal spending expired, and no further expenditures can be made.
As battles over the federal budget continue in Washington, some lawmakers have repeatedly questioned whether we’re being too generous to people with disabilities that keep them from working. In June, three members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were harshly critical of many Social Security disability judges who, they claim, grant benefits in between 50 and 75 percent of the appeals they hear. Since the judges only see these cases after two previous denials, shouldn’t they be turning most of them down?
Social Security disability attorneys hear questions every day about whether Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income are really just alternatives to welfare. Often, this is because the number of Social Security disability beneficiaries has been sharply rising over the past decade or so, and alarmist coverage from the media has implied this is because it’s easy to get SSD benefits even if you’re not really disabled.
The Association of Administrative Law Judges, a union representing ALJs at federal agencies -- 85 percent of whom work for the Social Security Administration -- has filed a lawsuit against the SSA claiming that their caseloads are too high to allow Social Security disability appeals to be decided fairly. They also warned lawmakers that, because approving claims takes much less time than denying them, there is a substantial incentive to approve claims they might otherwise question.
A woman from Florida who suffers from degenerative disk disease and depression adjustment disorder has been fighting for denied Social Security disability benefits for more than 12 years. She finally won her benefits on appeal -- an appeal she has been fighting since 2000.
Georgia residents who are battling serious illnesses may be interested to hear some cases from other locations of people who are struggling, not only with illness, but in a battle with the Social Security Administration. One woman was denied for disability payments, but did not receive an explanation as to why.
One man's struggle highlights the trouble burdening America's Social Security system. After many years of truck driving, the man thought that following a debilitating accident on the job that left him unable to work, he would be a model applicant for Social Security disability benefits.
People near Augusta, Georgia, who are hoping to appeal their Social Security disability benefits may be facing a shorter waiting period starting in October, after a new office opens in Augusta.
The subject of a new book by a former Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security Administration in Atlanta criticizes the workings of a government program, which the 87-year-old former senior judge calls frustrating. The published book comes at a time when a new study accuses SSA of "faltering" in the wait time for disability benefits.
Applicants waiting to find out if they've qualified for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits for illness or injury are not spending as much time on hold as they once did. However, a new report says that wait times, which currently average about one year, may soon be extended because more Americans are filing for benefits.