Nov 18, 2016

Many To Leave Social Security Because Of Change Of Administration?

    There are reports on the ALJ Discussion Forum that Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin told agency employees in an in-house television broadcast that she and many other unnamed officials will be leaving their jobs at Social Security at the time of the inauguration. There is nothing surprising about Colvin leaving. That was widely expected.  However, it is surprising that many others would choose to leave Social Security because of the change of administration. That is not at all what has happened in the past.
    The same source contains a report that agency employees have been told to expect that appropriations problems will slow down the hiring of Administrative Law Judges. The slowdown in hiring is inevitable given the appropriations problem. Backlogs are going to grow rapidly over the next four or five months, at least. No one knows what to expect beyond that.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, former ODAR employee who was discriminated against due to disability, they are all guilty of crimes and misconduct. We know... we know... Seriously, though, if there is something there I'm sure a Trump administration will take glee in exposing how they single handedly cleaned up the corruption, and, at the same time, they will relish in humiliating a government agency.

Anonymous said...

Colvin said the new directive will be what and who to cut, there's not much left to slash other than core personnel. Backlogs aren't even on the radar, it could hit 2 million.

Anonymous said...

I can assure that a bunch of ALJ's are leaving at the end of the year. There is no respect, consideration, or pat on the back for an endless job that has very little judicial support in many offices.

Anonymous said...

12:59

good riddance. If $180k and the easiest legal job that comes close to that pay, with telework and 40 hours and easy leave, etc. with regular federal employee pension/TSP benefits isn't good enough for you to overlook some pressure to actually hear a good number of cases, follow the law and policy, and--heaven forbid--occasionally carry some papers into your hearing room yourself, it's probably better if you left.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, if any ALJs do abandon ship with the new administration coming in it will be the ones who actually take the process of deciding disability seriously. The serial killers, I mean serial deniers, will be happy to stick around and do the job as 2:00PM describes it, make their numbers, deny 75% of claims or more and collect their checks.

Anonymous said...

It makes sense. There are many senior folks at the agency eligible to retire. A change in administration is a good time to check out if you are in that boat.

Anonymous said...

Geeze, there are a lot of folks who have to leave at the change of administration and a lot of folks who have been planning to leave because they can and a few whop don't have to leave but don't want to deal with the politics. And it has happened in the past. What is different is folks saying what will be going on in advance instead of people finding out after the fact. Think about it, just how much fun is it going to be in an agency having it's budget cut, and run by someone acceptable to a GOP Congress hell bent on "saving" social security by killing it? Sorry, after 30+ years of public service, likely anyone in management who is eligible to retire and can make the numbers work is seriously thinking about it.

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Anonymous said...

Well you know what they say about rats and a sinking ship...

Anonymous said...

So long need helping packing your bags.
Take Judge Gary Suttles of Houston Texas with you, Google Judge Gary Suttles. He likes to bash Navy Veterans
He is a coward like the rest of social security.

Anonymous said...

Things are getting scary.
First I read Charles blog talking about the "acting" Commissioner
and many at the agency leaving.
The I try to fax documents to the district office and it fails to go thru
They actually are good about NOT turning off the machine on weekends.
Then I try to file an appeal and the online system says
"Service not available"
WOW it has already begun....
turn out the lights...

Anonymous 42 said...

All Colvin was talking about was political appointees, like herself, whose terms end when the Obama presidency ends.

Anonymous said...

How many political appointees are there? Doug Walker, Rob Klopp, Virginia Reno, Judy Chesser, Herb Strauss, Stacy Rodgers, Andy Liu? Anyone I'm leaving out? Plus there are a few of the DCs eligible to retire that you have to wonder if they don't pull the trigger -- Reggie Wells, Nancy Berryhill, Steve Goss, Ruby Burrell. Could be very different at the tippy top in a few months.

Anonymous said...

@12:16

"Yes, former ODAR employee who was discriminated against due to disability, they are all guilty of crimes and misconduct. We know...We know..."

First, it is NOT employee, but NUMEROUS employees and ALJ's, who have been subjected to unspeakable harassment and retaliation for several years now, some of which crossed the criminal line. Second, it's not only disability discrimination. In my case, for example, it is also sex discrimination in the context of sex stereotyping and domestic violence dating back many years. There's also been age, race, and hostile work environment discrimination. Look at the number of ALJ's who were illegally forced out of their jobs, and the unprecedented number of very young ALJ candidates hired in their stead. Oh, former Atlanta ROCALJ definitely had a hand in this too. But, it's apparently ok to placate him with an office near his home. You know, it's one thing to illegally force numerous others out of their jobs, but it's quite another for it to be done to a corrupt crony. After all, this Administration has operated by a system of favorites and cronyism. A quid pro quo, if you will. I will promote or give you a ridiculously huge bonus this year and you give one to me the next. None of this has ever been based on merit or performance. Now, it would be unheard of to hold any of them accountable for their misconduct and wrongdoing. The ONLY good thing about Trump's election is seeing these cronies go, and with any luck, be held fully accountable at some point. They have driven the Agency so far into the ground, it will take years and years to recover.

Anonymous said...

I miss 100k judges guy over crimes and discrimination conspiracies guy

Unknown said...

The sad thing is it's the employees at the field office level who have to deal with the public everyday and there's not much they can do about any of the backlogs. They're also the ones who lose the hiring capability first and the first to feel the budget hits. For employees have to deal with irrational and angry members of the public, Congressional inquiries, and authorized representatives that are little more that legal sweatshops turning out DIB cases. Maybe the ALJs, PCs, and political appointees, etc should think of how their actions or lack of really put the FO employees in bad positions. Oh ye

Unknown said...

There are politically appointed ACs I believe like the oea guy. Breaking news, Trump to reappoint Jim Courtney

Anonymous said...

You may be glad am going, however, I do a very good case review and am a high payer. I have oodles of medical experience and know that most conditions our claimants have are progressive and degenerative. I can't do 600-700 cases a year. I work hard to do 400 cases a year, but my hearings are fair and full and I pay a lot more than I deny. So when I am gone, you will miss me, but just keep harping about the backlog instead of proper due justice for your client. Also, hardly prepare for a case, just work the averages to get by. So long and thanks for all the fish.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:50- Thanks for your service "Bart." I was able to operate on track to do 500 a year in a manner that allowed me to sleep in good conscious at night. I did, however see far too many reps who didn't properly work their cases, and many more SSA employees who couldn't or wouldn't properly develop a case file. All-in-all, I am oddly grateful to be one of "the number of ALJ's who were illegally forced out of their jobs." Really- once I became aware of the character of the people who were above me in the chain of command at ODAR it was much easier to leave. Being called and ALJ didn't do much for my self-esteem when I looked around and saw people with the same title gleefully ignoring the APA, the Privacy Act, and that little thing called the Constitution. So it goes... Enjoy your retirement. I am.

Anonymous said...

@11:44: BRAVO!

Anonymous said...

If you struggle to get 400 dispositions a year and you pay significantly more than you deny, then you have some serious inefficiencies in your process.

Anonymous said...

In defense of 8:50- Yeah, reviewing and considering the medical evidence and its relevance to ability to perform SGA is inefficient. Better to just read the DDS decisions and go from there to 600+ dispositions a year with some perfunctory show hearings and lots of amended onset dates in between. Give your so-called superiors all the efficiency they crave and don't worry about any substantive due process the claimants may deserve. Apparatchik.

Anonymous said...

SSA ALJs should have term limits. There is no way they can be fair and impartial after 10 years of hearing nothing but SSDI/SSI claims. The first time the voice in their head says "another back claim, another mental health claim" or similar they should leave the position. I also think if you changed the name to Disability Ajudicator, dropped the salary to around $75, there wouldn't be a waiting list to get on the list and no ALJ news boards.

Anonymous said...

The ALJ's should have 6 months or more of medical training in order to be able to handle the medical documentation intelligently before them. I find the above comment from 9:11 AM offensive. Should doctors be terminated after 10 years of experience when the voice in their head says "another back problem"? Of course not. Most ALJ's don't even understand what they are doing for 3-5 years.

Anonymous said...

10:02 are you equating the work of a doctor to an ALJ from SSA? Seriously? Perhaps a claims processor for a Long Term Disability insurance company, a Worker's Comp claim reviewer, even a long term DDS employee, but a doctor?!? C'mon Man!

Anonymous said...

10:57, If you think about it, an ALJ sees a larger variety of cases than an internal medicine doctor does, probably than most doctors due to their limited scopes of practice, ie., specialties. Very few doctors see the complete medical records for any patient, only the records that apply to their specialty. An ALJ is asked to evaluate a claimant based upon a broad range of impairments and attempt to derive a range of limitations based upon their findings..

Anonymous said...

There is no point in even trying to explain the difference between an insurance claim adjudicator and a medical professional, you are in the right business if you equate them.

Anonymous said...

Duh, no one was comparing an insurance claim adjudicator and a medical professional, you were....

Anonymous said...

That's what an ALJ is, an insurance claim adjudicator. You can hang all kinds of robes on it, an ALJ makes decisions on an insurance claim for benefits. Nothing more nothing less. Not one single solitary thing.

DUH, these claims are processed by DDS, DUH non atty reps represent people all the time. DUH its just an insurance claim.

Anonymous said...

Ruby Burrell is not retiring FYI.
Also Greg Pace is retiring.