Mar 24, 2009

New Hearing Office Sites

Commissioner Astrue's statement to the House Ways and Means Committee includes a map showing new hearing office sites for Social Security. The map only became visible to me when I viewed it here. I tried to reproduce it here, but it doesn't scale properly. Here is a list of the locations:
  • Akron, OH
  • Atlanta South, GA
  • Fayetteville, NC
  • Livonia, MI
  • Madison, WI
  • Mt. Pleasant, MI
  • St. Petersburg, FL
  • Toledo, OH
  • Topeka, KS
  • Tallahasee, FL


Nancy Ortiz said...

Tallahassee is one of those "them and us towns." Us, the rich folks, live in the NW suburbs and them,the poor folks live South of I-10, mainly in the SW. The two neighboring counties (Gadsen and Jefferson) are replete with poor people, working class or only marginally employed, best case.

Since FL doesn't have an income tax, there is little the state can do to extract any meaningful revenues from the large number of rich folks living on the coasts and the planned retirement communities inland. The result is constantly deteriorating public services, especially education, and unfailing corruption in letting state contracts, licensing and the like. FL is a pay to play state.

Gettin an ODAR office in Tally is a big deal. There's a law school at FSU and gobs of other lawyers in town who have extensive litigational and mediation experience. What do you bet the jobs will be filled without a whole lot of advertising? I have to say this secret hiring process is starting to irritate me.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard that Boise, Idaho might get an office? I didnt see it on the list but had seen where there were plans for an office soon

Anonymous said...

Will all these new hearing offices be fully staffed with onsite ALJs and support? I heard that the Fayetteville, NC office would be video hearings only. Astrue did not make that clear.

Nancy Ortiz said...

Yesterday's Congressional testimony quoted various witnesses pointing to serious support staff shortages in every ODAR facility. The same for FO's of course. As to the various itnernet or IT support systems in place or under development, it's pretty clear they don't cut it.

SSA has been figuring out ways to spend a lot of money on IT in lieu of on staff to do real case work since Dorcas Hardy's reign of terror. Why? With It, you get contracts and commensurate political/financial support for whatever political parties are in power. If we had invested in staff instead of expensive labor intensive IT "improvements", we wouldn't have backlogs like this. We'd have real people taking and clearing real claims and appeals. But, what do I know? I'm just teh 800 pound gorrilla in the room.