Friday, August 03, 2007



Social Security Disability Las Vegas - KSL News radio article

An article appeared on ksl.com, the website for KSL news radio in Las Vegas and really just reiterated everything that's been in the news lately regarding the backlog of social security disability cases.

Here are those reiterations:

1. The average wait time for a disability hearing nationwide is about seventeen months.

2. Much of this can be tied to a staffing problem within SSA, i.e. not enough warm bodies.

Now, here are some aspects of the article I'd like to comment on:

1. The article states there are not enough judges. Yes, this is true. However, if you doubled the number of judges (a magical accomplishment, indeed, since it will never happen), cases wouldn't move much faster, if at all. That's because social security disability judges don't do everything by themselves. They rely on hearing office support staff to get files A. worked up, B. scheduled, and C. to work on decisional notices (done by decision writers who are usually staff attorneys).

2. An attorney quoted in the article states that some of his clients have died while waiting for a disability hearing. This, unfortunately, is no exaggeration and I've had it happen to social security disability and SSI claimants that I've been involved with. Why does it happen? Because the system takes too long and too many claimants with a valid disability case are denied when they should have been approved.

3. One individual in the article expressed frustration with having to do a phone interview. It's understandable if her interview (actually, this was for her mother) was rescheduled, however phone interviews are generally done for the convenience of individuals who are filing for disability




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Disability in the Various States:

Texas Disability
California Disability
Tennessee Disability
Ohio Disability