Oct 4, 2013

Shutdown News Roundup

     A roundup of shutdown related news:
  • From The Hill: "Everybody's tried to envision [an endgame], but nobody has it yet," said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), an ally of [House Speaker] Boehner. "Honestly, I don't know what we're going to do.”
  • North Carolina Disability Determination Services (DDS), which does disability determinations for Social Security, is cancelling consultative examinations because of the shutdowns. Also, a few North Carolina DDS employees are being furloughed, even though Social Security is encouraging DDS's to stay open. If the states aren't getting money from Social Security, how long can they keep the DDS's open? Can they not pay a state employee when other state employees are being paid?
  • At ground level, it's obvious that Social Security employees still on the job have received confusing instructions on what they can and cannot do during the shutdown. I'm not going to go into detail but it's a problem. You can see evidence of this in the responses to my blog post on the implementation of ALJ decisions. And, on that subject, despite what ALJs have been told, no one who implements decisions has been furloughed. Employees at ODAR offices who perform tasks associated with issuing decisions have been furloughed but not the people who actually implement those decisions.
  • KPCC has a piece on one of Social Security's furloughed attorneys. She's upset for herself. She's upset for the claimants whose lives are being affected. The letter pictured above is one that Social Security has told her to give to creditors.
  • The President warned yesterday that if we crash into the debt ceiling that Social Security payments will not go out on time. However, House Speaker Boehner says he's willing to buck his party to increase the debt ceiling.
  • Republicans aren't sure whether they want to give back pay to federal workers who have been furloughed. {Keep digging, guys. The hole you're in can get still get deeper.)
  • Liberals are worried about a grand bargain to settle this mess might include chained CPI.


tyleragent said...
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Anonymous said...

Chalres, we are not confused. I think you are very confused. It may be that the people at SSA who implement the decisions are there ready and willing to do so BUT they cannot implement what we cannot provide. For the case to get to the implementation cadre, the case has to be closed in the HO. There is no staff in the HO to close the cases so they can go to implementation. We can issue bench decisions and e-sign decisions all day long but until we have the staff to close them, they cannot go to implementation unless SSA has set up some new emergency electronic method of picking up cases as we sign them. Don't think that is pobbible.

Anonymous said...

Charles REAAAAAAALLLLLLYYYYYY wants to believe that he is going to get decisions issued during the shutdown. The minimal staff we have may close a few, but at least in our office the 3 staff are trying to continue to prep files for hearing. That's the main focus, not closing and mailing decisions.

PS I love that Charles thinks he knows how a hearing office functions better than the staff.

Anonymous said...

Message to Harry Reid: Vote on what the House has already passed. Negotiate the rest. Problem solved today! At least, federal employees are not at risk of the child with cancer who Reid prefers to ignore during this shut down.

Jason Strong said...

Thanks for sharing this! I've been looking for some info on finding a social security representative in Minnesota. What would you recommend doing?

Don Levit said...

Social Security payments will go out on time as long as the trust fund has a positive balance. With a positive balance, no authorization is needed to redeem the Treasuries. All that is needed is cash, so without a surplus, then the deficit will increase, as well as debt held by the public.
Don Levit

Anonymous said...

Best story KPCC could find on effects of the furlough is a staff attorney making "more than $100,000" a year? What about the lower level govt employees with families or laid off spouses who will really feel the effects of no paycheck?

Anonymous said...

I deal with Downtown LA ODAR all the time. Usually pretty efficient.

My question to this attorney is this. Why are you living in Brentwood? To those not familiar w/ SoCal, it is a VERY upscale neighborhood (remember O.J. Simpson lived there). That's really a YOU problem.

My philosophy with finances is simple - Hope for the best but PREPARE for the worst. Most attorneys making 6 figures should have at least 6 months living expenses saved up.

This attorney obviously did not PREPARE for the worst.