Apr 24, 2017

Comments Will Now Be Moderated

     It's become apparent to me that most of the comments posted on this blog are now coming from two sources, paid shills and cranks. The shills bother me worse than the cranks. When I see multiple comments filed at 3:30 in the morning all saying that government employees are lazy, Social Security is horribly inefficient and its management is corrupt, I'm pretty sure it's been posted by paid shills who are seeking to undermine funding for Social Security. Russia isn't the only one who employs these shills. It's a cheap way to influence public opinion. Trump's election suggests that it can make a difference. Yes, I do believe the Koch brothers and others are this devious.
     I will now moderate the comments. If you submit a comment, it won't be posted until I have reviewed it. I'll try to act on the comments promptly but I'm not making any promises on the time frame. I have a life. I'm going to reject repetitive or abusive comments. I'm not planning to censor them otherwise. It's my blog so I get to make the decisions. I'd be delighted if others would start their own Social Security blogs. Many voices should be heard.

20 comments:

Ken Collins said...

Thank you, Charles!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr. Hall!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. It's fabulous.

I don't comment often.

A few months back I posted a comment speaking against the idea of using lists of people with rep payees for the purpose of restricting people’s rights and pointing out the ways rep payee status is frequently arbitrary.

The next day you posted a blog saying people who make such comments are probably paid shills for right-wing gun lobbyists.

If you knew me in real life, you would know I have been called some strange things in my lifetime, but this wins the cake for being the strangest and funniest thing anyone has ever accused me of!

I was pretty sure I would go to my deathbed without anyone ever mistaking me for being a shill for the far right.

Thanks for your great blog!

Anonymous said...

As you probably already know, a lot of your readers work in the agency and greatly appreciate your blog including myself, a rookie ALJ with no ODAR experience. Keep up the good work Mr. Hall.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Charles, for providing this forum. As a practicing SSD attorney, your blog articles and resulting comments, are required daily reading for me. I can easily breeze through the comments that are obviously fake and find value is some of the others. Especially in this current political climate, the information and commentary you provide are invaluable. I appreciate the time and effort you provide to this blog.

Anonymous said...

another insider here. this blog is a good public service. it keeps us all informed and offers a platform for discussion and dialogue. keep it up please.

Margaret Kibbee said...

I also want to express my appreciation for this blog. The information is invaluable. I start my day reviewing the blog and sometimes commenting. It's the best blog I know for representatives and for gaining accurate information about the state of the SSI/SSDI programs.
I appreciate the information here, and I have read some information that explained some things that were previously perplexing. Keep up the good work!

Russ Becker said...

Charles, thank you for maintaining this blog for so many years. As you know,I am now retired from practicing Social Security disability law. When I started doing these cases many years ago, my education in this area came from participation in the ListServe sponsored by the Disability Advocacy Section of the NC Advocates for Justice, reading NOSSCR bulletins, and following your blog. I no longer belong to these professional organizations, but I read your blog regularly just to see what is changing in my former practice area.

Also, thank you for stepping in to moderate the comments. Unfortunately, your above statement is correct. Only recently have the comments on the blog become so toxic that it has detracted from useful information being exchanged. Given today's environment, I do feel sorry for the SSA employees AND my former colleagues who do a disability practice. I think your active moderation will benefit an already excellent blog!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Charles for all that you do. It is greatly appreciated by those who work for the devil behind enemy lines trying to do good from the inside out.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Charles for writing this blog. Right now this is the only blog I read on the Internet.

I receive SSDI benefits for a mental illness called schizoaffective disorder. There is no cure. It is a genetic and life-long illness. I will need disability benefits for life.

But, SSA still requires means testing for me, so I have to keep myself updated on the latest SSA news.

I do not understand why I need means testing because this is a life-long illness. The VA does not require means testing for me.

Is there a blood test that I could take with SSA to show that I indeed have the DISC1 gene?

Anonymous said...

To 4:55 pm. Are you sure you are not receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or perhaps dual SSI and SSDI? SSDI is based on insured status and your earnings record; it is not means tested.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Charles, I guess I will go away now.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how you could be required to undergo means testing if you receive VA benefits; you shouldn't qualify for SSI with a VA disability benefits check putting you over their paltry income requirements. With DIB, the only money you have to worry about dealing with and explaining to SSA would be income from work activity...Am I missing something here?

If you're talking about the periodic CDRs, yeah, that's unfortunate. I bet you have more frequent reviews because we categorize schizoaffective disorder as an affective disorder rather than a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia, and I'm guessing affective disorders are reviewed more frequently than psychotic ones. Sorry :(

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if there are "paid shills" filling in the blog comments are not, that seems to be going a bit far. There are those with differing opinions. I do hope that you allow the comments that don't agree with your philosophy to be heard. A multiple poster at 3:00AM sounds more like a person with disability being up all night due to pain or depression looking for a place to vent than a conspiracy to change public opinion on the blog.

I understand that credibility of the blog has taken a hit with some of the posters repeatedly beating the same themes on every post regardless of topic but censorship is always a slippery slope.

Anonymous said...

I think 4:55 doesn't mean 'means' testing in the way we understand, resource and income based, but with the questions they are asking about a test for the gene and the mention that they qualify for SSDI would indicate to me that they are being reviewed for improvement.
I represented a schizophrenic veteran who received a hefty VA check. He was able to work in security for awhile if he didn't have to interact with anyone. Once he did, he couldn't handle it, and we went for his social security. VA and SSA have slightly different disability standards.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your blog, from a normal FO employee.

I laughed for a while at the ALJ Harmon monomania. But yeah, it needed to go.

Anonymous said...

I do appreciate the blog, as it helps me keep informed as I must be. I post at different times and the wee hours of the morning could be involved because I have a sleeping disorder among other things. I always ID myself with the same name: AKM.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

@10:31

"VA and SSA have slightly different disability standards."

Not sure if you're being facetious (and if so, I apologize), but the standards are entirely different, particularly for those veterans who have been deployed and engaged with enemy combatants.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog! As a SSD recipient I want to keep up with Social Security information and I appreciate your ongoing updates. And I am glad you are moderating this forum.