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Feb 16, 2010

The Labyrinth

From the Kansas City Star:

The nation’s disability insurance system is in rehab.

But it’s far from well, and problems in Kansas City are particularly acute.

An aging baby boom population and high unemployment rates are combining to flood the Social Security Administration with applications for disability insurance benefits.

The result: a backlogged system that can take years to pay out benefits.

Blame the agency’s staff cuts in previous years.

Blame people who try to fake disabilities.

Blame a labyrinthine claims system that volleys legitimate applicants between federal and state offices

And, in Social Security offices such as Kansas City’s, blame a sluggish productivity rate for disability hearings.

In Kansas City, applicants for Social Security Disability Income at the end of 2009 were waiting an average of 604 days for a decision from an administrative law judge.

That processing time ranked 135th out of 143 Social Security Office of Disability Adjudication and Review offices around the country, according to an agency report.

Why did the reporter make every sentence a new paragraph? Am I just old fashioned or is this an example of poor writing and editing?

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  • 5 Comments:

    Anonymous Nancy Ortiz said...

    Just a guess--visual emphasis and seems to go on forever, like hearings requests. I guess. NOrtiz

    10:32 AM, February 16, 2010  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Really tired of hearing about"faked" disability claims as part of the reason for the backlog. Never encountered a verified faked disability in 30-plus years. Most fraud is non-medical SSI-related. There are people who work even though they are actually medically disabled(meet the listings) and continue under-the table, but that is much different from faking medical evidence.

    2:38 PM, February 16, 2010  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This style of reporting has been around for some time. Remember the inverted pyramid? Papers like it because it makes the story easy to skim and edit.

    2:44 PM, February 16, 2010  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The one sentence approach.

    Can give average writing.

    Quite an.

    Impact.

    4:59 PM, February 16, 2010  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It's not "faked" claims that add to the backlog. That word is easy to use, but way too strong.

    It's just that some claims have more merit than others, and some have extremely little merit.

    No matter the merit, due process takes time.

    5:08 PM, February 16, 2010  

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