I've finally gotten around to the sort of list you've seen a lot of in the last couple of weeks -- the most important things that have happened in the Social Security world in the last decade. Below is my list but feel free to post your own list. I came up with eight and didn't want to pad it to make it ten.
- Constant administrative under-funding of the Social Security Administration accompanied by frequent shutdown threats and occasional actual shutdowns. Agency performance suffered as a result. Service has deteriorated to levels that would have once been thought unimaginable;
- After the number of Social Security disability claims soared in the 2000-2009 decade, the number of claims started declining in 2010. That decline is continuing. We think we know why claims soared from 2000-2009 -- primarily the aging of the baby boomer population -- but no one has a good handle on why the number of disability claims filed has gone down so much since then or why the decline continues;
- The Eric Conn debacle which led to a general climate of hostility towards Social Security disability claimants;
- Social Security went more than six years without a confirmed Social Security Commissioner because Republican Senators wouldn't confirm an Obama nominee and Trump was so slow in nominating anyone;
- The ongoing story of Social Security's Disability Case Processing System (DCPS) which may or may not ever work;
- The deal to extend the life of the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund;
- Social Security's ongoing refusal to deal with the obsolescence of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles;
- The collapse of Binder and Binder. Yes, I know there's a stub of Binder and Binder left but it's nothing like what it was. A 60 Minutes hit piece hurt Binder and Binder but the bigger problem was that it was based upon a business model that could not succeed at a time when the number of disability claims was going down and it was becoming progressively more difficult to get a claim approved. The ironic thing was that the 60 Minutes hit piece damaged Social Security attorneys generally even though we were appalled by Binder and Binder long before the rest of the world was. At least the original owners sold out to a private equity company -- which I still find astounding -- before the bottom dropped out and have now bought back the stub.