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Efforts to Dismantle Social Security Disability, Part 2 of 2

In the previous post we described how opponents of Social Security Disability have attacked the system by conducting a disinformation campaign about the problems in the retirement and disability benefits system. In this post we discuss the results of Congressional budget cuts on the ability of the agency to fulfil its mandate to provide benefits to retired and disabled workers.

Congressional opponents of Social Security Disability (SSD) have used the power of the purse to hobble the system. The sequester and budget cuts have resulted in declining numbers of personnel to process claims, at a time when the aging of the baby boom has resulted in a claims bubble. The numbers, provided by the Congressional Budget Office, speak for themselves.

The number of employees at the Social Security Administration, which handles not only disability benefits but also old-age pensions, is at a 14-year low. This comes at a time when workers in the baby boom generation are becoming injured and sick and are also retiring. To cut the staff when the numbers of recipients and claimants is rising because of the population bubble undercuts the ability of the SSA to provide mandated retirement and disability benefits to eligible recipients.

In addition to cutting staff, the agency has closed more than 64 field offices and reduced the hours at 1,245 others. The process for deciding which offices should be closed or should operate with reduced hours is not clear, and appears to be arbitrary, seemingly not using data about individual field office populations and numbers of claims.

The result, according to an article in the New York Times, is that many applicants can no longer receive timely assistance from SSA staff when seeking disability or retirement benefits. They are told to go online, something that is not always possible for the elderly and disabled populations served by the SSA.

Disabled workers have few other options before they reach retirement age, and the ongoing efforts to dismantle the Social Security system result in extremely long waits before they receive needed benefits - if they receive them at all. If you are having trouble with your SSD application or appeal, it is important to get help that can make the process smoother. Do what so many others have done: Contact Binder & Binder®, America's most successful Social Security Disability advocates. Call them from anywhere in the United States and learn what they can do for you.

Source: New York Times, "Social Security Agency Cuts Services as Demand Grows, Senate Report Says," Jun. 17, 2014.

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