Feb 21, 2010


From the Boston Herald:

Thousands of disabled Bay Staters in dire need of federal aid are facing longer delays after a Patrick administration decision to furlough more than 80 percent of the workers handling their claims, officials and advocates say.

The move sets up a battle between the state and the federal government, with the nation’s top Social Security honcho calling Gov. Deval Patrick decision “incomprehensible” and saying he cannot rule out legal action.

“I can’t conceive of how anyone would think this would make any sense,” U.S. Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue told the Herald. “Massachusetts isn’t saving money. I just think it’s incomprehensible.”

Astrue said the Patrick administration told him that 228 of 272 employees in the state’s two Disability Determination Services Offices, which process thousands of disability applications a year, are to be furloughed. So far, 14 DDS managers have been furloughed. Astrue questioned the logic in furloughing the workers when the office is federally funded.


Anonymous said...

Mass isn't the only state doing this, yet the Republican operative that heads SSA decides to most visibly criticize the Dem candidate in a tough re-election race.

Anonymous said...

Uh, time for a reality check #1 - SSA filed a statement in the California court in the litigation against Gov. Schwartzeneger there. And the Commisiosner has issued multiple press releases, made public statements, and written letters to Federal and Satte officals regarding the impact of the furloughs in several other states.

Anonymous said...

The most interesting aspect of this is that it is being done by both Democrats and Republicans, thus proving that they are all incompetent.

Anonymous said...

My understanding could be wrong, but I think state DDS offices are funded by a mix of federal and state funding.

Federal funding pays the salaries of the employees, but I think that fees for medical record requests might be covered by state funds...

I think DDS employees are eligible for some state employee benefits, like state 401k programs. So, I'd assume the state gov't match amount would be reduced if part of their salary was lost due to a furlough.

But this is really splitting hairs. There've got to be better ways for Patrick to save money for MassGov.

Anonymous said...

No 2. Writing a letter is not the same as getting quoted slamming the candidate in the local paper.