May 5, 2017

Acting Commissioner's Message

From: ^Commissioner Broadcast
Sent: Friday, May 05, 2017 4:34 PM
Subject: FY 2017 Budget

A Message To All SSA Employees

Subject:  FY 2017 Budget

I have some good news to share about the budget.  This afternoon, President Trump signed the omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2017, which provides the Federal Government with funding for the remainder of the fiscal year.

The omnibus appropriation includes an increase to our agency’s program integrity funding, which will allow us to conduct additional continuing disability reviews and redeterminations.  It also sets aside funds to focus on reducing our hearings backlog.    

I appreciate your patience during the latest budget negotiations.  Thanks again for all you do each day to support our mission.

Nancy A. Berryhill
Acting Commissioner


Tim said...

I like how terms such as "program integrity" are used to mean "cut off anyone we can" and has virtually nothing to do with "integrity." Because if "integrity" actually meant "integrity," SSA would have to identify and compensate those who were wrongly denied! If that was what "integrity" meant, the appeals council wouldn't concern itself with whether the ALJ made a "legally defensible" decision, but, would focus on whether the claimant met the criteria of the law. If "integrity" meant "integrity," then DDS would actually try to determine the claimants' actual RFC, not just one that allows them to deny! Next, I suppose someone will try to tell me the purpose of the "Affordable HealthCare" Act was to make healthcare affordable...

Anonymous said...

Agreed 12:50. Exhibit A: The rules demand quality review of a large number of approvals but not of denials (although they have started looking at some). Exhibit B: Adjudicators with outlier approval rates get special scrutiny, while those with outlier denial rates are not. Exhibit C: Just about everything else that SSA calls "program integrity" is something that can only result in more denials or reductions in benefits. I suppose the agency has to come up with a new name to cover issues which, if not addressed, result in things like underpayments and erroneous decisions that deny benefits that rightfully should have been due. I suggest "program justice." It has been starved of funding and locked in a closet for a long time now. Who in congress will stand up for program justice for their disabled and impoverished constituents?

Anonymous said...

You two should know better by now. When dealing with SSA, you are living in the world of Alice, where up means down, down means up, world class service means third world class service and all the claimant's are liars unless they have ironclad documentation and even then, well you just never know. It is disgusting. Its about to get worse if the health care reforms go through.

Anonymous said...

@12:50, it appears you were denied by the venom in your statements. If you were denied, what did you do to make your cases? Did you work directly with your doctor to get a RFC report that opposed the RFC done by DDS? Did you have adequate representation to plead your case at the Hearing? Or did you file and wait? Burden of Proof is on the Claimant. If you were denied then you did not make the requirements.

A decision of not disabled from SSA does not mean you do not have a health condition, it means you do not qualify for the program. Have you done any vocational training? Applied for any additional work training to update skills to less physically demanding job opportunities? Are you doing physical therapy? Working with a job councilor, doing anything at all?

I do not work for the agency and do not represent clients. I work to keep people with disabilities working. From back pain to quadriplegics, behavioral health issues to blindness, I have always seen those that want to work find a place and a way to work. Do not let your condition define you! Take charge and take back your life!!!

Tim said...

11:01 AM By the way, the government's use of questionably honest terms probably predates both of us. However, the last few years has seen a lot more of them, on both sides. The Affordable HealthCare Act, No Child Left Behind, etc. As for integrity, I really find that quality has become increasingly lacking in government, business, doctors, etc.