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May 24, 2012

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

    From the Boston Globe:
Federal officials overseeing a fast-growing $10 billion children’s disability program have failed to follow up on the progress of 400,000 beneficiaries with behavioral, learning, and mental disorders, allowing families to receive monthly cash benefits for years even if their children’s condition has improved, according to a draft report from the Government Accountability Office obtained by the Globe.
The report by the investigative branch of Congress estimated that the Social Security Administration, which runs the Supplemental Security Income program, might save $9 for every $1 it spends on disability reviews by determining that some children no longer qualify. Reviews are typically required once every three years for the 1.3 million children now receiving benefits, a record high.
      And why is Social Security not doing these reviews? Because they don't have enough operating funds, that's why.

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    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Half these children should never receive benefits in the first place. That's the real problem.

    9:08 AM, May 24, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    half is a low estimate...in my opinion there are very few child SSI recipients that are actually "disabled"

    5% is probably a good estimate.

    10:02 AM, May 24, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    But Astrue has enough money to hire more ALJs and staff for ODAR, and a slew of new OGC attorneys, but almost nothing for Field Operations.

    2:27 PM, May 24, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I wonder how many children actually improve. I can remember only one SSI DC who was ceased. For many, their checks stop at age 18 because they don't meet the adult criteria.

    3:33 PM, May 24, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You cannot determine whether disability ceases unless you actually conduct disability reviews and SSA under Astrue has shown little desire to conduct such reviews. SSA had the opportunity to limit child disability to only the most severe cases after Zebley and Congress even indicated that it wanted such an approach, but SSA decided to weaken the standards by inventing functional equivalency and has continued to push for more grants of benefits to children, even though quite often when the Age-18 redetermination rolls around, the reviewing officials cannot understand why benefits were granted initially.

    6:24 PM, May 24, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Zebley only happened because atoo many ALJs were not using MA/MEs at hearings to make 'equivalency' determinations.
    And, as stated by 6:24 PM, it is SSA that made the post Zebley decision to use 'functional equivalency' (an imposible to apply myth) and "give the store away."

    6:10 AM, May 26, 2012  

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