Apr 10, 2014

House Oversight Committee Hearing

     The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing yesterday on Social Security's continuing disability reviews. Here are links to the written statements:
      LaCanfora, O'Carroll  and Nottingham all talked about the limitations on continuing disability reviews caused by inadquate administrative funding. Bertoni, as is normal for witnesses from the GAO, said nothing of consequence other that the agency was doing a bad job and ought to be doing better without saying what exactly they should be doing different given budget restraints. I think that if GAO had its way agencies would spend 100% of their funding making sure that they don't misspend any money. I don't know what Lockhart was talking about. Her written testimony seemed to have nothing to do with Social Security.


Anonymous said...

One observation and one opinion:
While I agree that GAO was more balanced and objective in their reports re: SSA 4 or 5 years ago, in all fairness, Bertoni did mention some specific ways SSA could improve the CDR sample. He mentioned the high cessation rate for ADHD and Speech disorders in childhood CDRs (I think he mentioned 30% in speech disorders) might be a more consequential if you will, way of targeting the sample. However, he was countered quite well by La Canfora who noted overall cost for adult monthly benefits vs. children and more importantly said, given adequate funding the agency could complete all CDRs.
In m opinion, the witness I thought was right out of la la land was Nottingham who suggested that NADE believes it would be beneficial to have the DDS represented at the ALJ level during a hearing. I can’t imagine someone from the DDS at a DE novo hearing with a claims representative and an ALJ, but suggest it would do absolutely nothing to enhance the process. I can see them lining up for pay grade increases and new fed positions. It would be a train wreck. NADE’s insertion of that gem speaks for volumes for their perspective of the overall SSA quagmire.

Anonymous said...

here's one thing that O'Carrol mentioned...

4,751 disability review cases opend...4,134 ended in denial of benefits

Wow. In 87% of the cases it was found that someone receiving benefits was not disabled. There's a program that needs to be expanded.

Anonymous said...

"There's a program that needs to be expanded".

Better yet increase taxes and eliminate social security programs. Plenty of savings at that point.


Anonymous said...

Congressman Lankfort knew what he was doing with having Ms. Lockhart there:


Plus the data on how so many people get allowed in the Philadelphia region by ALJs who just approve almost everyone.

Anonymous said...

I love that there is apparently a scientific way to determine whether somebody is "truly disabled" or not. Even the listings aren't precise, unless someone can explain where one goes from "moderate" to "marked." It's a subjective process and always will be, for good and bad.

Anonymous said...

You're not sure how her testimony is relevant? This demonstrates how clueless you and others are about the disability system to begin with. We have the largest population ever of children in this country receiving disability. With the incident of developmental disabilities rising exponentially, should we not be concerned about a system not preparing these individuals for the workforce. Parents collecting disability, but not stewarding it appropriately in preparing there children to live independently? So when the child turns 18 and determination roles around he or she is prepared to move forward in their life rather than sit at home while there parents continue to collect? This is confusing to you how? Mr. Lankford is beginning to demonstrate not only the inequality in the system but how the system can hurt our children with disabilities if we aren't mindful. The committee does not want to have that discussion. There are very few children who have significant disability to the point they cannot be eventually be employed on some level with the appropriate supports and early intervention and those individuals certainly deserve every penny as do their caretakers. With that said, most children with disabilities should be out in the community and prepared adequately to live independently as we might prepare any typically developing child when aging out of the school system.