May 26, 2017

When Will We See A Commissioner Nomination?

     From an op ed written by Sam Johnson, the Chairman of the House Social Security Subcommittee, for the Dallas Morning News:
... [T]he SSA needs strong leadership. The president must nominate a commissioner who is serious about helping disability insurance beneficiaries return to work. The SSA has had an acting commissioner since 2013, and that's far too long for an agency that touches the lives of all Americans.
     I couldn't agree more but I would be surprised if there's a nomination before late 2018. Trump has been extraordinarily slow in making nominations to executive branch positions. He's made nominations for only 94 of the 559 key positions in his administration. By the same time in Barack Obama's first term he had made 219 nominations to key positions and, if you remember, Obama was extremely careful in making nominations. That's a major reason why the Obama Administration avoided scandal. To give you an idea how far behind Trump is in making nominations, there are 41 key positions in the Department of Defense for which no nomination has been made, including Secretary of the Army and Secretary of the Navy. Let's face it, for better or worse, Trump has no agenda for the Social Security Administration so it's a position of little interest for him. That's the case in most administrations but usually Presidents are interested in making nominations to help build their political party. The Republican Party is only a vehicle for Donald Trump. He has no concern for it as an institution. Even when the Trump Administration starts thinking of nominating someone for Social Security Commissioner, there's the issue of the term of office. Social Security Commissioners serve a set six year term of office and that six years doesn't run from the date they're confirmed. We're more than four years into the current term without anyone being confirmed as Commissioner. The current term ends on January 19, 2019. Even if Trump nominated someone tomorrow, by the time that person got confirmed, they'd have less than a year and a half in their term. My prediction is that Trump won't bother to nominate anyone until he can nominate someone for the full term that begins in January 2019. That assumes that Trump will still be in office in late 2018.
     By the way, there are two other positions at Social Security needing nominations -- Deputy Commissioner and Inspector General.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"serious about helping disability insurance beneficiaries return to work"


What does serious mean? If congress was serious about beneficiaries returning to work they(government)would partner with employers to accept people with disabilities. Something far beyond the ADA.

Anonymous said...

"serious about helping disability insurance beneficiaries return to work"


What does serious mean? If congress was serious about beneficiaries returning to work they(government)would partner with employers to accept people with disabilities. Something far beyond the ADA.

Tim said...

If they were serious about getting some to return to work, they would increase the rewards for trying while decreasing the risk. More carrot, less stick! However, the Republican position seems to be no carrots, no help, but with a big, heavy stick! I believe their thinking is based upon a false premise: that SSDI/SSI is easy to get! Statistics suggest that there is atleast 10-20:1 ratio (probably 100:1) of legally qualified disabled who have been denied for every case of "fraud." I believe that these prominent Republican disability deniers are WILLFULLY IGNORANT (dumb on purpose) of the process, etc. and BELIEVE THEIR OWN LIES, because the combination allows them to justify their positiion. Knowing the truth might require them to change their position! Sam Johnson seems to make himself the Gold Standard: Look what I was able to do, why can't you? What he demonstrates is the EXCEPTION, not the rule. How many people with ALS can become Stephen Hawking?

Anonymous said...

BRAVO, Tim!

Anonymous said...

Not everyone can be Stephen Hawking ALS or not, that is a once in a generation mind. On the other hand medical billing and coding, data processing, social services work and countless other positions can and are done by those with disabilities every day. Programs like HBWD (Health Benefits for Workers with Disability) help bridge the gap of healthcare, the highest priority for those with chronic conditions. You can make a difference or make excuses, you cannot legislate character.

Margaret Kibbee said...

Many disabled would rather work and sometimes do until they just can't. Any work pays more than disability. Then you usually have to wait awhile to get it. I have had more than one client go back to work if their employer let them because the wait and the money were't worth it. Some keep working until they collapse in front of the plant manager with a seizure. There are enough able bodied people who can't find work that I don't understand this push to get the disabled back in the work force. HBWD and Vocational Rehabilitation are good programs when fully funded, and but I don't see them being fully funded in the immediate future.

Tim said...

10:04 AM. I find your comment insulting. You have no concept what I or others have gone through and deal with every day. I had epilepsy for over 20 years, beginning by the age of 12. At 17, I had the first symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis, which wasn't diagnosed until I was 30, despite multiple visits to multiple doctors at a time that I really couldn't afford it. I started getting arthritis in my shoulders at 32 and in my hands a few years later. My eyes caused migraines, my back hurt so much from just walking to the car, my hands and shoulders hurt constantly. Simply writing a phone number increases the pain in all three. For 30 years I worked as much as I could, when I could. But, I got to the point where I can't do it anymore. The painkillers no longer work! I was denied by ALJ who claimed I could do three jobs. I have appealed to AC appeals council. It has been 3 years since I last worked and over five since I was able to work on a regular basis. What would you suggest I do?
By the way, I could use a good lawyer!