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May 11, 2012

A Quarter Of A Million Times A Year

     Social Security has sent over to the Office of Management and Budget a routine Paperwork Reduction Act request for approval of a new version of a form. The agency predicts that the form will be used 250,000 a year. The form in question is the SSA-1724. You know that one, right, the "Claim for Amounts Due in the Case of a Deceased Beneficiary", used when someone entitled to back Social Security benefits, almost always disability benefits, dies before they get paid. 
     And, of course, if you believe the "disability community", each and every one of those folks  who dies before getting paid could and should have been working until the very day they died if only they had had the right level of support and encouragement.
     Yes, I know that estimate of 250,000 is almost certainly over the top but the reality is that the form gets used plenty, probably tens of thousands of times a year.
     Several times a year someone who has recently gotten into the Social Security disability field asks me how to deal with the situation of a  Social Security disability claimant who dies before getting paid. They usually seem surprised that I can easily answer their question. Of course, I can easily answer the question. It's because it's a situation that comes up on a regular basis in my practice. If you have trouble believing that, you just don't know the reality of Social Security disability.


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    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    That form is not only for disabled persons dying prior to receiving benefits, it is also for any person dying and having an u/p on record. This could be an Aero increase after their death, which causes an u/p for months prior to death. There are a lot of reasons there could be an u/p of a deceased person. 250K is not that outlandish when you consider all the possibilites.

    7:11 AM, May 11, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You are off your rocker if you think this form is that common for disability claims.

    Right now there are 106 of these in my PSC section with only 1 being attached to a claim that has been established for less than 1yr (recently awarded but may not be disability related). The majority of these will exist for the last check being returned on the record of a deceased individual. 250,000 seems to be an entirely reasonable estimate and I agree that the burden put on the applicant could easily be further reduced.

    You usually seem to be pretty focused and in your thoughts Charles, but quite often this week you are trying to link too much back to the statements made by other individuals about the disability applicants they serve. Take a break this weekend, clear your mind and maybe you can get back to clear and constructive posts instead of these tantrums where you try and link everything back to some great evil screwing over disability applicants.

    8:37 AM, May 11, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    And to clarify the 8:37am remark;
    I am aware almost all of the 1724s that would be involved in the disability underpayment cases would not be in a PSC awaiting processing because there would be a substitution in the case and thus would not be the most valid means of painting a picture of the proper proportions, but they would still exist in the electronic disability folder.

    8:45 AM, May 11, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The typical situation is client died on April 1st or 2nd, 2012. The Social Security check deposited on April 3rd by direct deposit is returned by the bank to Treasury, even though claimant was entitled to it, because the bank is aware the claimant died before the deposit. The only way to reissue the check is through an underpayment application.
    And that is why the form is used a quarter million times per year. Not because a quarter million disability applicants die waiting for a decision.

    11:49 AM, May 11, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The advent of payment cycling has vastly increased the number of beneficiaries who die before receiving the last check they are due. 250,000 a year certainly isn't out of line. Within the next 5-10 years, I'd say that it will almost certainly exceed that as more cycled payments enter the system.

    5:44 AM, May 12, 2012  

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