By Vance Cariaga: Complete Post through this link…
ngd-The fundemental difficulty is that initial application consideration uses a set of rules for decisions that aren’t consistent with the intent of the statutory definition of disability under SSA. This results in a doubling of the number of people who are denied, with half of the denials being bogus…
The Social Security Administration has become so overwhelmed by customer service problems that even officials with the agency admit that their performance is “not acceptable.” That was how Linda Kerr-Davis, the SSA’s acting deputy commissioner of operations, described things during a recent Congressional hearing.
Kerr-Davis was there to explain why more than 1 million Americans are still waiting for initial decisions on disability benefits that currently take an average of 220 days to process.
“Pending levels and wait times for determinations on initial disability claims and disability reconsiderations are at all-time highs,” Kerr-Davis told the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee last month. “For the first time since the programs began, pending initial disability claims have exceeded 1 million. Applicants are waiting on average seven months for a decision. This is simply not acceptable — to the public, to you, or to us.”
Members of Congress — from both political parties — did not dispute that assessment. Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.), chairman of the Social Security panel of the Ways and Means Committee, said the consequences of SSA’s various service failures “are devastating.”
The question now is what the SSA plans to do about it. Kerr-Davis told the committee that her agency has worked to identify issues that led to the backlog and plans to take “immediate steps” to address and resolve them.