Monday, December 31, 2007



Social Security Disability Portland Oregon

Here's a link to an article appearing in the Portland Tribune website. There's some decent information in this article, but also some erroneous information that, once again, illustrates the fact that 99% of reporters have no real idea what they're talking about when they write about the social security disability and SSI disability system.

Here's a good example of what I mean:

"the advocates decided to concentrate on the state level, where the backlogs are less burdensome and less vulnerable to partisan squabbling"

Partisan squabbling at the state level? Yes, there is less vulnerability at this level, but only in the sense that it doesn't exist at all. The "state level" is basically comprised of the disability application and the request for reconsideration, which is the first appeal. Partisan squabbling is a complete non-issue, as much as the PH levels in a fish tank would be a non-issue for dairy cows.

In fact, these two levels of the disability system are insulated enough from outside political influence that it is nearly a waste of time to request a congressional inquiry into the status of a pending claim (where a staffer at a senator or congressman's office checks on the status of a disability claim). Such inquiries are simply "filed" and then ignored, since the raw truth is that, given the available manpower at a state disability agency and the resulting caseload distribution among examiners, a disability case can only be processed but so fast anyway.

This article, like most articles on the disability process, contains as much gobbledygook as good information. Fortunately, there is at least a modicum of useful information.

According to the article, disability claims in Oregon take roughly 73 days to decide at the initial claim level with a 39 percent approval rate. This, of course, means a 61 percent denial rate (which isn't the worst in the nation, by far). Of those individuals who appeal by filing a request for reconsideration, the approval rate is 12 percent and the average turnaround time is 74 days.

Benefits process turns into a maze



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