Saturday, January 05, 2008

Poor Planning and the Federal Disability Benefits Program

Here's a page from the Las Vegas Sun that has the right headline, considering the status of the social security disability and SSI programs: "Poor planning and a lack of foresight cripple federal disability benefits program".

The editorial echoes very closely what the other five million articles that have appeared in local papers have stated over the last few months.

A) The social security administration is underfunded and understaffed.

B) Long waits for disability claims to be processed and for disability hearings to be scheduled are causing undue financial grief. This is the effect for hundreds of thousands of individuals, and their families, who did nothing wrong aside from the unpardonable sin of becoming sick or injured, causing them, as a result, to lose the ability to work and earn a substantial and gainful wage.

However, something else appears in this editorial that I've considered for quite some time (years, actually). Something that doesn't ever appear in newspaper articles about the disability backlog disaster (and, yes, it is a disaster, in the sense that it is a "disaster in government planning" for which elected representatives should be held accountable at the polls and it is a "financial disaster for disabled workers").

The editorialist makes a valid point---

"It's not as if the Bush administration couldn't see this coming. The Baby Boom generation, which encompasses people born from 1946 through 1964, makes up 25 percent of the U.S. population. Members started turning 55 in 2001, so it only stands to reason that as more of them age, the number of disability claims will increase."

It's the belief of many individuals who work within the social security and social security disability program apparatus (at least the ones that I've spoken with) that the current administration has allowed SSA to founder so badly because an agency meltdown would make a stronger argument for outsourcing and privatization.

I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but the editorialist does make sense when he states that it isn't as if they couldn't see this coming.

And if they did, and did nothing to avert it, what does that say about our elected leadership and who they're willing to sacrifice for the sake of achieving more on their policy change agenda?

Poor planning and a lack of foresight cripple federal disability benefits program

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Other Posts:
How to apply for disability
Social Security Back pay
SS Disability
Disability help
Disability Benefits