Over twelve thousand disability cases backlogged in Ohio
Here's a line from the article linked below:
"The wait in Columbus seemingly was spurred by retirements of key staff members"
As I've said before many times before on this blog, the problem with the social security disability and SSI disability system is essentially a personnel problem (and, thus, a budget problem). Without enough people filling chairs (administrative law judges, hearing office personnel, social security field office personnel, and disability examiners), the work will simply not get done.
The problem is most severe, of course, in social security field offices and this is why---many of those employees, claims reps and service reps, are eligible for retirement. And as they retire, guess what? Are replacements being hired? No. The work of those who retire is simply being redistributed to the remaining workers, effectively making their lives miserable, and making them more likely to retire if they are eligible to do so (and, as we said, many are).
Here's how it goes: weekly meetings at social security offices are held to reassign workloads, motivate workers, and determine how to improve efficiency when the simple truth of the matter is that X number of people can only get X amount of work done.
Most social security officer managers, of course, do not have the backbone to simply say what the problem is, even though they know full well what the problem is, a lack of hiring to replace workers who have quit or retired. However, their reasons may be justified. After all, unlike a business, they don't have the authority to hire as the need arises, and neither do their bosses. Everything is tightly controlled from the top down (top down management approaches tend to result in inadequate responsiveness to changing demands and requirements and, in a business setting, can lead a company down the path to ruin).
Of course, the top of the hierarchy does not begin with the office of the commissioner of the social security administration, but, rather, with the group that funds SSA--and that is congress.
Columbus, Cleveland face huge backlog of disability cases
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