Feb 29, 2016

If You Really Think They Can Work, Why Don't You Hire Them?

     The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) has proposed that federal agencies do a better job of hiring individuals with what they refer to as "disabilities", which I would call medical impairments. The EEOC wants to increase the goal for federal agencies from 7% of the workforce to 12% of the workforce having a "disability."  
     Claimants for Social Security disability benefits are usually incredulous when told that Social Security believes there is some work they can still do. They often ask the question "If Social Security thinks I can work, why don't they give me a job?" I'd like to see Social Security offering jobs to some of the people whose disability claims they turn down despite the fact that the claimants are in and out of psychiatric hospitals. Plenty of them have a history of doing office work. Some are former government employees. If you really think they can work why don't you hire them? You can't hire them all but you can hire some.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, for one thing, at least in the area I work in, SSA has done away with ALL "clerical" or "office" positions. Everyone is a Claims Specialist now. That eliminates most of the non-technical jobs the agency says they can do.

On the flip side, I'd love to see the agency hire them. put your money where your mouth is!

Anonymous said...

SSA currently does hire MANY people with disabilities. Currently, everyone we hire is a veteran and those with VA rated disability get preference. Of the last 10 people our office hired, 10 were vets with disability ratings.

Anonymous said...

Should the government hire the best people we can to do the job? If not, the public must accept more delays, more errors, less professionalism, etc. that are the natural result of employing the less qualified. This is not to be unkind. For some positions, less is enough. But does this mean the more capable are in the back of the line to be hired? Remember, government pay is for the position filled, not for capabilities to perform below, at, or above the position. How many government employees does the taxpayer want to pay for who, whatever the reason might be, performs at minimal or below minimal levels or needs special accommodations that negatively impact overall office needs, payroll, dependability, time to learn the job, etc.?

Anonymous said...

I would not want to work in the same office with an individual that has any severe Mental Health issue,I feel for them,however,also for the person in the cubicle next to that person.

Just an opinion

Anonymous said...

SSA, and especially ODAR, have a horrible reputation when it comes to hiring the disabled, or retaining even some of their very best employees who become disabled in some form or fashion during their career/employment with the Agency. Just look at the
long term disability class action case of Jantz, et al. v. Michael Astrue, Social Security Admin, which took more than 10 years of litigation, and in the end, achieved little for those plaintiffs whose irreparable harm occurred long before 2003.

I speak from a position of experience. After more than 25 years as an ODAR Senior Attorney who for years earned numerous QSI’s and Performance Awards for both quality and quantity of work, I was illegally forced out the door. Prior thereto, I was the target of illegal discrimination and Prohibited Personnel Practices. My EEOC case is still pending in litigation. Several investigations for misconduct, including criminal misconduct, have taken place.

Although the results of these investigations have substantiated many of my allegations, the Powers That Be in ODAR (Falls Church) and SSA (Baltimore) duly informed, they have overtly refused to address the misconduct and criminal acts, or provide any helpful assistance to me. To the contrary, many of those who engaged in misconduct, including criminal misconduct, received huge bonuses and/or promotions, not to mention long periods of paid Administrative Leave. What’s worse, many of these employees are ALJ’s and Attorneys with active law licenses which require adherence to Professional Codes of Ethics and Responsibility.

Anonymous said...

20 plus years ago, I went to an ODAR office to review/copy a file. I had called ahead to have the file pulled. I waited for an hour and a half during which time the receptionist repeatedly told me she would get the file in a "few minutes". The lobby was pretty much empty the whole time I was there. When I asked for the office manager, the receptionist put me off. Finally I demanded to see the manager who got me the file immediately.

I got back to the office to find out that the presiding judge had called my boss to complain that I had "beaten up" the receptionist. After explaining about the hour and a half wait, the ALJ was very understanding. Said the receptionist was on SSDI and was in the return to work program.

She wasn't there the next time I went in.

Tim said...

11:35 & 11:40 AM- So, are you arguing for more people to be awarded SSI and SSDI or for less application of the Americans with Disibilities Act? Or, like certain Republican Senators, less of both? I'm not surprised that SSA on one hand would argue an individual can do SOME job while also saying that same individual can't do one of THEIR jobs!

Anonymous said...

as a reminder, the Social Security Act only requires that a person be capable of performing the job...they do not have to be able to be hired...to be found not disabled.

Anonymous said...

@10:11AM,

Fancy job titles such as, "SSA Claims Specialist," "Case Technician," Senior Case Technician," etc., as opposed to the former "Office/Hearing Clerk," "Secretary," "Typist," "Hearing/Administrative Assistant," etc., do NOT in any way mean these employees still aren't largely performing 'clerical/office' work. The work is still the same and must still be done. It has NEVER changed! Instead of shuffling papers and paper case files, these employees shuffle through and organize electronic medical records, case files, etc. This work does not require more than a high school education. We're NOT talking about a major skill set change. Give me a break!

Moreover, those lucky enough to get a job with ODAR have the potential to be promoted to "Paralegal Specialist," and paid the same salaries as Attorneys, (hardly the same skill set or educational background). They also have the potential to rise through the ranks to a GS-13 Group Supervisor, a GS-14 Hearing Office Director and more. It is rare these employees possess a 4-year college degree or more.

Tim said...

3:39 PM - Are you suggesting that SSA should enforce their laws, but not other laws? The Americans with Disabilities Act is also a law, but the federal government seems less interested in enforcing it, just like immigration laws. Why? Because both laws would cost employers more money. Why hire the disabled if you can undercut wages with illegals?

Anonymous said...

@ 3:39PM, ... "as a reminder, the Social Security Act only requires that a person be capable of performing the job...they do not have to be able to be hired...to be found not disabled."

While true, do you have any idea how, "Holier than Thou," this sounds? Are you saying a persons 'hire-ability,' or lack thereof, supports finding every individual with a 'disability,' regardless of what the disability is, not disabled? I would assert SSA's position on this is contrary to the ADA, ADAA and Rehabilitation Act. It is also self-serving insofar as it sends a signal to all employers that it is okay not to hire those with disabilities, (regardless of how limiting the disability may actually be), and to just forget about those pesky reasonable accommodations, despite the fact many 'disabled' individuals are quite capable of working with reasonable accommodations that do not realistically unduly burden the employer.

Face it - employers want an 'out,' and the truth is most detest granting reasonable accommodations and make it just as difficult as possible to obtain for existing employees.

If there is any Federal Agency which should be willing to hire/retain those with a disability, especially if it is simply a matter of providing a reasonable accommodation, it is SSA and ODAR. What's troubling is their track record of doing just the opposite.



Anonymous said...

When I was with SSA we had a TXVI CR that used arm crutches to get around the office, he would carry Claimant files in his teeth. Interesting watching the faces of applicants when they wanted to file for SSI with him. We also had a legally blind SR that used various pieces of tech to perform her duties. Both did very good work. There is a huge difference between ODAR and the FO/DO.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where in my post I said you had to be a "scholar". And I didn't make up the job titles so no worries there. If you want someone off the street who can barely put a sentence together processing your retirement or disability claim, then have at it. I'm not in anyway claiming to be some genius, but I see probably half of my office having problems applying the basic rules and regulations contained in the programs. That's part of the reason why the field offices are failing.

This is the "America" we have created. The Union keeps the lesser employees employed and the general public gets screwed.

So anyway, scholarly job - not really. I'll agree there, but the "clerical" aspect of the job is definitely something I'd be willing to hand over to some high school grad. Then I could actually focus on applying the laws. In my area, the powers that be be have seen fit get rid of any "clerical" staff - no service reps any longer. Not efficient.

ZJE said...

Indeed, current regulations contain no provision for whether you would be hired or even if the job pays a livable wage. They even changed what constitutes a significant number to a couple thousand that may only need to exist on the other side of the nation. And don't get me started on that elevator operator case... But, funny enough during this past EDPNA con't education video series. The example real-life claimant was denied up to District Court but hired as a producer for the video series! It would be hilarious if it wasn't so freaking two-faced.

Anonymous said...

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Hearing Office Hearing/ Office Times in Months
AKRON OH 15.0
ALBANY 15.5
ALBUQUERQUE 16.0
ALEXANDRIA 10.5
ANCHORAGE AK 11.0
ATLANTA DOWNTOWN 19.0
ATLANTA NORTH 18.0
BALTIMORE 20.0
BILLINGS 13.0
BIRMINGHAM 16.0
BOSTON 13.0
BRONX 17.0
BROOKLYN 22.0
BUFFALO 19.0
CHARLESTON SC 15.0
CHARLESTON WV 16.0
CHARLOTTE 18.0
CHARLOTTESVILLE 16.0
CHATTANOOGA 17.5
CHICAGO 18.0
CINCINNATI 20.0
CLEVELAND 15.0
COLORADO SPRINGS 16.0
COLUMBIA MO 15.0
COLUMBIA SC 19.0
COLUMBUS 18.0
COVINGTON GA 18.0
CREVE COEUR 16.0
DALLAS DOWNTOWN 14.0
DALLAS NORTH 13.0
DAYTON 13.0
DENVER 14.0
DETROIT 14.0
DOVER 18.0
ELKINS PARK 17.0
EUGENE 15.0
EVANSTON 14.0
EVANSVILLE 16.0
FARGO 13.0
FAYETTEVILLE NC 17.0
FLINT 13.0
FLORENCE 13.0
FORT MYERS FL 18.0
FORT SMITH 7.0
FORT WAYNE 13.0
FORT WORTH 11.0
FRANKLIN TN 16.0
FRESNO 18.0
FT LAUDERDALE 18.0
GRAND RAPIDS 14.0
GREENSBORO 19.5
GREENVILLE 18.0
HARRISBURG 17.0
HARTFORD 16.0
HATTIESBURG 16.0
HONOLULU 12.5
HOUSTON NORTH 12.0
HOUSTON-BISSONNET 14.0
HUNTINGTON 16.0
INDIANAPOLIS 15.0
JACKSON 15.0
JACKSONVILLE 17.0
JERSEY CITY 18.0
JOHNSTOWN 18.0
KANSAS CITY 13.5
KINGSPORT 14.0
KNOXVILLE 16.0
LANSING 13.5
LAS VEGAS 15.0
LAWRENCE MA 16.0
LEXINGTON 15.0
LITTLE ROCK 13.0
LIVONIA MI 15.5
LONG BEACH 18.0
LONG ISLAND 17.0
LOS ANGELES DOWNTOWN 15.5
LOS ANGELES WEST 17.0
LOUISVILLE 16.0
MACON 17.0
MADISON 15.0
MANCHESTER 14.0
MCALESTER 14.0
MEMPHIS 15.0
METAIRIE 9.0
MIAMI 20.0
MIDDLESBORO 16.0
MILWAUKEE 20.5
MINNEAPOLIS 12.0
MOBILE 15.0
MONTGOMERY 14.0
MORENO VALLEY CA 16.0
MORGANTOWN 18.0
MT PLEASANT MI 16.5
NASHVILLE 14.0
NEW HAVEN 15.0
NEW ORLEANS 13.0
NEW YORK 15.0
NEWARK 18.0
NHC ALBUQUERQUE 16.0
NHC ALBUQUERQUE SO 14.0
NHC BALTIMORE 15.0
NHC CHICAGO 16.0
NHC FALLS CHURCH 16.5
NHC ST LOUIS 10.0
NORFOLK 17.0
NORWALK 17.0
OAK BROOK 17.0
OAK PARK 15.0
OAKLAND 16.5
OKLAHOMA CITY 13.0
OMAHA 15.0
ORANGE 13.0
ORLAND PARK 15.0
ORLANDO 16.0
PADUCAH 15.0
PASADENA 16.5
PEORIA 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 18.0
PHILADELPHIA EAST 19.0
PHOENIX 17.0
PHOENIX NORTH 14.0
PITTSBURGH 18.0
PONCE 22.0
PORTLAND ME 17.0
PORTLAND OR 16.0
PROVIDENCE 12.0
QUEENS 17.0
RALEIGH 18.0
RENO NV 14.5
RICHMOND 15.0
RIO GRANDE VALLEY TX 17.0
ROANOKE 18.0
ROCHESTER 19.0
SACRAMENTO 15.0
SALT LAKE CITY 17.0
SAN ANTONIO 16.0
SAN BERNARDINO 15.0
SAN DIEGO 16.0
SAN FRANCISCO 15.0
SAN JOSE 14.0
SAN JUAN 18.0
SAN RAFAEL 15.0
SANTA BARBARA 16.0
SAVANNAH 17.0
SEATTLE 13.0
SEVEN FIELDS 14.0
SHREVEPORT 9.5
SOUTH JERSEY 19.0
SPOKANE 18.5
SPRINGFIELD MA 12.0
SPRINGFIELD MO 13.0
ST LOUIS 14.0
ST PETERSBURG FL 15.0
STOCKTON 13.0
SYRACUSE 15.0
TACOMA WA 13.0
TALLAHASSEE FL 19.0
TAMPA 17.0
TOLEDO OH 12.0
TOPEKA KS 14.0
TUCSON 17.0
TULSA 12.0
TUPELO 18.0
VALPARAISO IN 18.0
WASHINGTON 21.5
WEST DES MOINES 15.0
WHITE PLAINS 16.0
WICHITA 12.0
WILKES BARRE 16.0
WHITE PLAINS 16.0
WEST DES MOINES 15.0
WASHINGTON 21.5
VALPARAISO IN 18.0

Anonymous said...

@12:17

I liked your rant better the first few times you posted it on the ALJ boards.

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