Your source for news affecting the U.S. Social Security Administration/© Charles T. Hall
Surprise, surprise -- a Commissioner who has fostered an atmosphere of paying cases (regardless of true merit) receives primarily good/excellent ratings from voters who primarily benefit financial from his policies.
If one is disabled and meets the strict qualifications, then one should get a check, I see nothing wrong with that and the Commissioner has nothing to do with who gets or does not get a check.
"the Commissioner has nothing to do with who gets or does not get a check."hahahahahaha....i hope that was meant as a joke. While the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration does not personally determine who is disabled or personally write checks, he is the ultimate authority on determining who is disabled, per U.S. law. He delegates that authority to ALJ's, senior attorneys and DDS examiners. However, getting more to the point, he is responsible for implementing the policies and procedures that are used in determining who is disabled. Should he so choose, he can change those policies or lobby to have the laws changed. Additionally, through management decisions, he can change how the Adminstration functions.
I said I thought his performance has been good. Five years ago, in our area the wait time between applying for a hearing and having a hearing was about 24 months. It is now around 10. Overall, the % of favorables in our office has gone down in the last 5 years, but I'll take that in exchange for my client's having hearings before they are evicted or die. Justin
Justin, your pay rate is down because more people are applying who are not disabled.SSA has been cracking the whip to get the backlog down. New judges are being let go during their probationary periods if they don't meet productivity expectations, and older judges are being pressured (though not as easily removed) as well. In a world where writing/editing/closing a (fully) favorable decision is much, much quicker than doing so for an unfavorable case, how in the world can one explain the decreasing pay rate for any other reason? The "old guard" of ALJs paying at super low rates to make a point? Looking over the ALJ disposition data shows that there are far fewer ALJs paying significantly below the average rate than above, so that theory doesn't fly.I know Charles loves to harp that the increased number of aged people in our populace accounts for the increase in applications (since being older makes one more prone to injury/disability) by itself. His contention that the increased number of old people accounts for a rise in apps is true, but not to the degree he states.There is ample, good data showing that applications also rise because of poor economic conditions (data from the current and previous poor economies, while accounting for things like age of population). There is a significant number of people who would have worked through the back pain or depression had there been an unskilled light job in their podunk town available to them.It really makes me chuckle that disability reps argue so hard against what is common sense. Times are tough, there aren't many jobs. Why wouldn't more people generally (I'll go ahead and acknowledge that many of these people are significantly limited, possibly even disabled according to the Act) apply for benefits if they can't find a job and have no other source of income? It is just as silly to pretend such applicants do not exist in significant number as it is to believe older people are not more prone to disability or that this effect is not significantly increasing apps.
I actually largely agree. I have no problem admitting that people who might have returned to work in a better economy don't in a worse economy.I don't understand what you mean when you say "In a world where writing/editing/closing a (fully) favorable decision is much, much quicker than doing so for an unfavorable case, how in the world can one explain the decreasing pay rate for any other reason?".Wouldn't an emphasis on productivity, and thus quicker fully favorables, lead to the opposite - an increasing pay rate?Justin
I was trying to illustrate that the productivity factor has (in my opinion) a signficant impact on the pay rate (in the upward direction), yet the overall rate is down. I take that to show there is some other factor (which I assume is the large number of marginal/not disabled applicants) bringing down the pay rate more than that factor is increasing it. I was just trying to illustrate how large the marginal applicant factor must be to cancel out (and then some) the productivity factor.
Driving back from meeting with a client I was thinking about it and it suddenly clicked what you meant. Justin
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