Social Security Saved IBM
Labels: Social Security History
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Your source for news affecting the U.S. Social Security Administration Copyright Charles T. Hall
Labels: Social Security History
Labels: Online Services
Labels: Health Care and Social Security
For many reasons, Americans are living longer and healthier lives. The nature and scope of work performed by the American people is significantly different than 40 years ago. There are far fewer unskilled jobs in the market place and few jobs that require significant physical activity. As a result, application of the Agency’s Medical Vocational Guidelines (grid rules) oftentimes forces the ALJ to award benefits when jobs are available that claimants could perform. In our view, this approach to evaluating disability is out of date and should be eliminated. Rather than using these outdated guidelines, judges should rely on vocational testimony. At a minimum, the grid rules should be revised to reflect the increased life span of Americans
There are two major problems with the social security disability decision making process. First, the SSA disability program has become increasingly and unsustainably generous. ...
Second, there is a large disparity in the rates at which benefits are granted by the Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) who have the final say in the SSA decision making process in the vast majority of cases. ...
I recommend that Congress eliminate the role of ALJs in the disability decision making process. ...
I recommend that Congress limit the fees that can be earned by lawyers and other professional advocates for SSA disability advocates. The Supreme Court has upheld a fee limit of $10 for advocates for VA disability benefits, so Congress has broad discretion to limit the fees of advocates for SSA disability benefits.
Naysayers try to correlate the rising unemployment rate with the rising rate of disability claimants and come to the erroneous conclusion that people are using the SSDI system instead of looking for work. The reality is that many elderly workers have received special accommodations from their employers that allow them to work with their disabilities because they have been loyal, hardworking employees for decades. But when the economy turns down and these workers are laid off, they are not capable of working in a competitive job market. Americans with disabilities already face growing challenges in their efforts to gain disability benefits. Filing a claim can prove to be a daunting, complex bureaucratic struggle that can sometimes take months and even years to navigate....
It is not fair to attempt to balance our federal budget on the backs of the disabled. We all have a stake in seeing deserving people with disabilities get the benefits they need and have earned.
Labels: Disability Claims
The number of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) child applicants and recipients with mental impairments has increased substantially for more than a decade, even though the Social Security Administration (SSA) denied, on average, 54 percent of such claims from fiscal years 2000 to 2011. ...
[Disability] Examiners also do not routinely receive information from SSA [Social Security Administration] field offices on multiple children who receive benefits in the same household, which SSA’s fraud investigations unit has noted as an indicator of possible fraud or abuse. Without such information, examiners may be limited in their ability to identify threats to program integrity. ...
SSA has conducted fewer continuing disability reviews (CDR) for children since 2000, even though it is generally required by law to review the medical eligibility of certain children at least every 3 years. ... SSA acknowledged the importance of conducting such reviews, but said that due to resource constraints and other workloads, such as initial claims, most childhood CDRs are a lower priority.
Labels: Advocacy Groups
The Social Security Administration announced today that Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers, will electronically transmit complete medical records for its patients to the agency with the appropriate consent. Social Security requests about 70,000 patient files from Kaiser Permanente each year so this seamless new system will save time and money for both partners as well as allow Social Security to make faster and more accurate decisions.
Over the last few years, Social Security had entered into similar agreements with several smaller providers to exchange medical records electronically over the Nationwide Health Information Network. Today’s agreement marks the agency’s first move into using health information technology on a large-scale basis.
Social Security’s National Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar is this Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 3:00 p.m., EDT
Register online or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD).
You will receive a registration confirmation letter with instructions on how to log in to the webinar. Please be sure to check your spam folder. Registration information will also be available online the day of the webinar.
If you plan to attend Wednesday’s national WISE webinar at 3:00 p.m., EDT, you can download the presentation in an accessible PDF via the link below:
Link to Presentation Materials: http://cl.ly/3u2U3g0l2W2a0M183C3z
Ron Paul, a staunch opponent of federal welfare programs, acknowledged Wednesday that he receives Social Security checks, shortly after advocating that younger generations opt out of the program. ...
“Just as I use the post office, I use government highways, I use the banks, I use the federal reserve system, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work to remove this in the same way on Social Security,” the Texas congressman said. “In the same way with Social Security, I am trying to make a transition.
U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security today announced the fourth hearing in the series entitled, “Securing the Future of the Disability Insurance Program.” This hearing will focus on the disability appeals process. The hearing will take place on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, in room B-318 Rayburn House Office Building, beginning at 2:00 p.m. ...
Applications for disability benefits have reached historic levels resulting from more women in the workforce, the recession and slow recovery, and baby boomers reaching their disability-prone years. The 2012 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees projects that the Disability Insurance (DI) program will be unable to pay full benefits beginning in 2016. ...
In announcing the hearing, Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) said, “Those sidelined from working because of a disability must be able to count on a fair and timely hearing by a Social Security judge. Americans need to know that the same rules apply to everyone. This hearing will tell us whether the appeals process we have today works and if not, what changes ought to be made.”
The Social Security Administration — which saw its staff shrink 6 percent last year — warned Congress last month it cannot keep up with swelling workloads as baby boomers retire and more Americans file for benefits. ...With the White House and Congress facing increasing pressure to cut the deficit — and steep cuts looming in January as part of the sequestration process — budgets are certain to get even tighter. And some experts fear Congress will continue cutting budgets without scaling back agencies’ missions, which will force some agencies to cut staffing to dangerous levels. ...“If you keep ratcheting down, at some point something breaks,” said John Palguta, vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service....“Unfortunately, it keeps going until we run into a [Federal Emergency Management Agency] that can’t respond to [Hurricane] Katrina, or the 9/11 Commission says part of the problem was that we didn’t have enough people in intelligence agencies to pick up on the 9/11 threat,” Palguta said. ...SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue told the Senate Finance Committee on May 17 that staffing cuts are already hurting his agency’s ability to serve the public. To deal with a nearly 4,500-employee decline in 2011, SSA had been relying on overtime and having employees stay late to interview and help members of the public.But budget cuts have forced SSA to cut out most overtime. SSA’s $11.5 billion fiscal 2012 budget is about $1 billion less than Obama requested, and about $400 million less than the agency had in fiscal 2010. As a result, Astrue said, SSA began closing field offices to the public a half-hour early each day to make sure employees finish up their interviews during their regular work hours.And Astrue fears he may be forced to cut staffing even further — between 2,500 and 3,000 employees this year and another 2,000 or more in fiscal 2013. That would force SSA to close its offices even earlier next year, he said.“I recently visited our Springfield, Mass., office, and the waiting room was filled to capacity,” Astrue said. “The office has lost 11 employees, 19 percent of its staff, in the last few years. We are doing what we can to assist this office, including implementing a video connection with another office, but few offices have excess capacity to help.”
In a legal settlement that advocates described as the first of its kind, Social Security has agreed to provide staff training and assistance to two mentally disabled San Francisco men who said they lost benefits because they couldn't understand the rules.
The settlement, approved Tuesday by a federal judge, requires the Social Security Administration to assign a staff expert to meet regularly with each man, explain the agency's forms and requirements, and help them respond in ways that protect their rights.
The agency also agreed to pay $900,000 in fees for the two men's lawyers, who have worked on the case for five years. ...
The agency offers no such assistance to at least 2 million Social Security recipients, and an undetermined number of applicants, who have mental or learning disabilities and have to decipher the complex eligibility requirements on their own, Bruce [the attorney for the plaintiffs] said.
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The SSA Office of the Inspector General recently launched its Facebook and Twitter pages and its YouTube channel.
We’ll regularly update the Facebook page with OIG happenings and activities, and we plan to post daily Twitter updates as audit reports, investigation summaries, fraud alerts, new releases, and other reviews roll through the office. Inspector General Patrick P. O’Carroll, Jr., even sent his first tweet last week. Let us know what you think of the accounts, and please recommend the pages to any interested friends.
We’ve also stocked the YouTube channel with a collection of OIG-related videos, including a brand-new, OIG-produced public service announcement, “Protecting Personal Information.”
Connect with the OIG through the following links:
The SSA Office of the Inspector General Facebook Page
@TheSSAOIG on Twitter
The SSA Office of the Inspector General YouTube Channel
Labels: OIG Reports
CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL) recently won a $233 million task order to provide primary managed data networking services over the next five years to the Social Security Administration (SSA) under the Networx Universal contract. The General Services Administration's Networx program is the largest telecommunications contract vehicle ever awarded by the federal government.
CenturyLink will provide network infrastructure for data, video and voice services to the SSA, which has more than 62,000 employees worldwide. As the primary service provider, CenturyLink will help SSA drive the pace for the transition from the current providers to the new service providers.
In this capacity, CenturyLink will serve all SSA data centers, regional offices, program service centers, remote operations communications centers and more than 1,500 field office locations around the world. Under the task order, CenturyLink will also provide management and implementation support and lifecycle engineering.
SSA had previously awarded a broad voice services task order to Qwest, which was acquired by CenturyLink, in 2008. The services that CenturyLink provides under the 2008 award help SSA with everything from internal communications and collaboration via audio conferencing to lowering its disability case hearing backlog via video conferencing.
Social Security Program Integrity.—The bill includes $1.024 billion, an increase of $268 million for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to conduct continuing disability reviews and redeterminations of nonmedical eligibility under the Supplemental Security Income program. This investment will save approximately $8.1 billion over 10 years for the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs, a return on investment of $8 for every $1 spent.The rest of the summary is unclear on Social Security's overall budget.
Labels: Financing Social Security
A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit, if:(1) a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during administration; or(2) a nonlawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer.
After over three years serving as the Chair to the Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel (OIDAP), this will be my last Message from the Chair. On 21 May 2012, the Social Security Administration (SSA) decided that because of fiscal issues associated with the current Federal financial crisis, they would not extend the OIDAP charter beyond its expiration in July. We are the last Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) panel at SSA at this time.
In a nation that prides itself on fair play and equal opportunity, it seems incongruous that people with wealth-based income — interest, dividends, capital gains, rent — are excused from paying Social Security (traditionally 12.4 percent) and Medicare taxes (2.9 percent) on that income. Equally odd, they do not pay Social Security tax on wages above $110,100. Shouldn’t these taxes be paid on all income? Taxing the “earned” and not the “unearned” seems rather un-American, doesn’t it?Now wait for the sharp reaction from the paid shills who are the most ardent posters on this blog.
Police arrested a man after he made threats against workers at the Murfreesboro [Tennessee] social security office on Monday.
Suspect Brian Bottoms is accused of telling an employee "He might just have to do something destructive" after he learned he could not get money he thought he was owed to pay child support....
In 1995, Bottoms and his brother were arrested after they threatened to kidnap the former publisher of The Tennessean John Seigenthaler and WLAC radio talk show host Les Jameson.
Officers raided the brothers' home and located three pipe bombs. ...
Agents searched his car [yesterday] and found cleaning supplies, a cinder block and a guitar.
Labels: Crime Beat
Former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming), perhaps our leading avatar of misinformation about Social Security, sent us a lengthy email on Friday responding to our series of posts criticizing his error-rich take on the nation’s preeminent social insurance program.
You can read his entire email here. Be forewarned: It’s a dizzying compendium of ignorance, myths, irrelevancies, and historical revisionism, leavened with a healthy dollop of defensiveness.
Labels: Social Security "Reform"
Labels: Representative Payees
Polly Winn is retiring as the district manager of the Corsicana Social Security office Friday after 38 years with the administration.
When she graduated from Blooming Grove High School, Winn said her plans were to become a special education teacher. She was already fluent in American Sign Language because both her parents were deaf.
Instead, she ended up working for Social Security ...
Throughout [her career at Social Security], her skills with sign language have been helpful, since so few people in the administration know it. People from around Texas have come to Corsicana to meet with Winn and get help with their Social Security claims. She’s even had people come from as far away as Kansas. ...
Labels: Social Security Employees
Shortly after your client’s hearing . . . a special agent with the F.B.I. informed me that, earlier, he had observed Mr. Ludwig in the parking lot walking with normal gait and station; and when he observed Mr. Ludwig walking inside of the Federal Courthouse (where our hearing was held) he was walking with an exaggerated limp (which I also observed as he left the hearing room).
Should you wish to inquire further, [the special agent] can be reached at the F.B.I. office at:
101 12th Ave
Fairbanks, AK, 99701