Critics of Social Security Disability (SSD) often raise concerns about administrative law judges (ALJs) whom they charge with being too lenient when adjudicating appeals. Our previous blog post discussed how these critics use old statistics to support their claims. Critics have to go back several years to find numbers that make their assertions seem true.
The attacks on Social Security Disability continue. These attacks are often distributed by seemingly respected media outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The fact that such attacks appear in "respectable" newspapers covers up the fact that they are often based on false or misleading information. Take, for example, an op-ed piece that appeared in the WSJ on March 8th attacking what it suggested was a very common practice: gaming the system by trying to find the "best" administrative law judge to handle an appeal. Allegedly over-generous judges, according to the authors, are one of the reasons that the SSD system is facing a crisis.
This blog and many other media outlets report frequently on the problems and inadequacies of the Social Security Disability (SSD) system. However, the news is not uniformly bad. For example, the Social Security Administration (SSA), which administers SSD, recently announced that it would open field offices for an additional hour four days each week.
President Obama's administration recently proposed that Congress transfer $330 billion from the Social Security trust fund to cover the shortfall in Social Security Disability funding. This blog has reported before on the history of such transfers; adjustments in the trust fund have been made repeatedly since the advent of the Social Security Disability program in the 1950s.
It is MS Awareness Week. MS, or multiple sclerosis, is a disease of the central nervous system. It affects about 2.3 million people throughout the world. The precise cause of the disease is not known, and the symptoms and their severity vary from person to person.