Nov 15, 2008

A Few Thoughts About Dr. Susan Daniels

Dr. Susan Daniels, who worked at the Social Security Administration during the Clinton Administration, has been appointed by the Obama transition to be a lead in their planning team for the Social Security Administration.

I have already noted that the disastrous Re-engineering and Hearing Process Improvement initiatives happened on Dr. Daniels' watch at Social Security, but those were not the only bad things that happened then. Two of the most viciously anti-claimant regulatory changes ever made at Social Security also happened then. The obesity listings were eliminated and the examples that had been in section 201.00(h) of the grid regulations were eliminated. You think this sounds technical and unimportant? Trust me, there are tens of thousands of people who never got Social Security disability benefits because of those changes. There was never any justification for either. Neither has been forgotten. Both still rankle. I remain astonished that these changes happened while a Democrat was in the White House.

I do not want to go on and on about a person whose role is likely to be over in about two months, but just try to find one example of Dr. Daniels speaking out about the enormous backlogs that have developed at the Social Security Administration. Where was she when she might have done some good?

Dr. Daniels is no well-respected elder statesperson. She should not have gotten this appointment. Any nomination of Dr. Daniels to serve in any official capacity at Social Security would be controversial. She does not even have any business on the Social Security Advisory Board and I think the SSAB is so worthless that it ought to be abolished.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Clinton years were not good to claimants or their reps. Why did everyone assume that an Obama administration would be different?
Susan Daniels was a disaster with HPI. HPI was directly responsible for the accelration of the hearings backlog. Watch and see if she doesn't want to resurrect DSI. Hey, maybe a whole new set of process unification rulings.