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Nov 26, 2014

Field Offices To Be Closed To Public On Friday

     I just got a tweet from Social Security saying that their field offices will be closed to the public Friday. I don’t know why they waited so late on announcing this. Social Security staff who aren’t taking the day off are supposed to be at work Friday.

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  • Declining Disability Claims

    From a recent report by Social Security's Office of Inspector General


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  • Nov 25, 2014

    Fees For Representing Social Security Claimants Going Down

         As part of a virulently hostile piece about attorneys who represent the disabled, the Manhattan Institute, a right wing "think tank", posted this graph, which undermines their argument a bit:

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  • Nov 24, 2014

    Updated Disability Trust Fund Numbers

         The numbers are now available on the operations of Social Security's Disability Insurance Trust Fund through the third quarter of this year. To make it a little easier to understand, I'll give the net decrease in the Trust Fund balance for each quarter this year, in billions, and the comparison to 2013.
    • 1st Quarter 2014 -$6.4 billion, $1.5 billion better than in 1st Quarter 2013
    • 2nd Quarter 2014 -$4.1 billion, $0.2 billion worse than in 2nd Quarter 2013
    • 3rd Quarter 2014 -$10.1 billion, $0.3 billion better than in 3rd Quarter 2013
         The net is a reduction in the Disability Trust Fund of $20.6 billion through the first nine months of 2014, which is $1.6 billion better than during the same time period of 2013. The intermediate projection of Social Security's Chief Actuary was that the decline in the Disability Trust Fund would be exactly the same in 2014 as in 2013, $32.2 billion, so, thus far this year, the rate of decline is about 5% better than projected. Does that continue in the 4th quarter? More important, does the improvement continue next year and in coming years?

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  • Nov 23, 2014

    "Truly Disabled"


    Senator Tom Coburn, who will be leaving the Senate in January, has some strong opinions he wants to share about Social Security disability.

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  • Nov 22, 2014

    Hearing Backlog Growing Rapidly

    From a recent report by Social Security's Office of Inspector General

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  • Nov 21, 2014

    Americans Demand Local Field Office Service

          Poll results reported by the Strengthen Social Security Coalition:
    A majority of Americans want to be able to call or visit a local Social Security field office for various services. The vast majority of Americans — regardless of party affiliation, race/ethnicity, gender and age — believe that we need to have more or the same number of local field offices in the future. 
    57 percent of people want to be able to call or visit a local office to request a new Social Security card. 
    • 35 percent of those surveyed would prefer to call a local phone number to speak with a live agent. 
    • 22 percent said that they would like to visit a local Social Security office in person. 
    • 24 percent would prefer to call a national 800 number to speak with a live agent. 
    • 11 percent prefer using the internet or email. 
    • 7 percent of participants prefer using an automated phone service. 1 percent would like to correspond through the mail and 1 percent are unsure of their preferred method. 
    59 percent of people want to be able to call or visit a local office to get information when they are one or two years away from retirement . 
    • 33 percent of those surveyed would prefer to call a local phone number to speak with a live agent. 
    • 26 percent said that they would like to visit a local Social Security office in person. 
    • 21 percent would prefer to call a national 800 number to speak with a live agent. 
    • 12 percent prefer using the internet or email. 
    • 5 percent of participants prefer using an automated phone service. 1 percent would like to correspond through the mail and 1 percent are unsure of their preferred method. 
    61 percent of people want to be able to call or visit a local office when it was time to actually apply for retirement benefits.
    • 32 percent of those surveyed would prefer t o call a local phone number to speak with a live agent. 
    • 29 percent said that they would like to visit a local Social Security office in person. 
    • 19 percent would prefer to call a national 800 number to speak with a live agent.
    • 13 percent prefer using the internet or email. 
    • 5 percent of participants prefer using an automated phone service. 1 percent would like to correspond through the mail and 1 percent are unsure of their preferred method. 
    86 percent of Americans want more or the same number of local field offices in the future. 
    • 44 percent believe there should be more local field offices in the future 
    • 42 percent believe there should be the same number of local field offices in the future 
    • 8 percent believe there should be fewer local field offices in the future 
    These results are from a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling who surveyed 1,207 registered voters on November 14 - 16, 2014.

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  • Nov 20, 2014

    Does This Line Keep Going Up And Up?

    From a recent report by Social Security's Office of Inspector General

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