As a Social Security Disability Attorney, I take keeping up to date with the law very seriously. For that reason, I am a member of the NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY CLAIMANTS’ REPRESENTATIVES- NOSSR. This is the reason that I am a Sustaining Member of NOSSCR. This is the reason that I have traveled all of the way to Seattle, Washington, to learn about any changes in the law or regulations that will affect your case. From all of the attorneys who handle SOCIAL SECURITY CASES IN MARYLAND, I APPEAR TO BE ONLY 1 OF 2 FROM THE WHOLE STATE WHO CAME TO THIS CONFERENCE
This morning, we heard from representatives of the SSA tell us how hard they are working to try to get to your cases. However, in spite of their words, the condition of the delay in obtaining benefits is still terrible
A representative from SSA confirmed that A MILLION PEOPLE ARE WAITING FOR HEARINGS.
The SSA representative also confirmed that there are now only 50,000 EMPLOYEES, DOWN FROM 80,000 and they are NOT HIRING BECAUSE OF CONGRESSIONAL INACTION WHICH HAS RESULTED IN A HIRING FREEZE. The SSA Website, actually claims that there are almost 60,000 employees, https://www.ssa.gov/org/ , but we learned today that this is not correct.
We were told that the reduction is the result of the continuing Congressional Budget Resolution, which mandates a reduction in each agency’s budget, each year. To make things worse, the present Congressional Budget Resolution actually will expire on December 9, 2016, unless the lame duck Congress can pass an extension, http://federalnewsradio.com/government-shutdown/2016/09/senate-lawmakers-pass-continuing-resolution/
According to the SSA Rep, because the government could be shut down again after December 9, 2016, this is forcing SSA to delay upgrades in their computer systems and hiring decisions.
Meanwhile, SSA keep making it more difficult to get SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY, by changing the regulations. For example, SSA IS TRYING TO CHANGE THE
“TREATING PHYSICIAN “ RULE- THE CHANGE SSA IS TRYING TO ENACT WILL ELIMINATE GIVING YOUR TREATING PHYSICIAN’S OPINION GREAT WEIGHT. At this time, the doctor who has treated you for 5 or 10 or 20 years, who knows your condition the best, is given deference over some doctor who sees you once, or not at all. If SSA has it’s way, some doctor who works for or is paid by SSA to make a decision, will be given as much weight as a doctor who knows you best. What a terrible and unfair change in the rules!!
The most telling sign of the horrible backlog in resolution in cases, was the SSA Rep’s admission that 8,000 PEOPLE DIE EACH YEAR WAITING FOR A HEARING IN THEIR CASES. THAT IS 23 PEOPLE A DAY!! EVEN MORE LOSE THEIR HOUSES OR ARE EVICTED WAITING FOR THEIR CLAIM TO BE HEARD.
I will try to report more information that obtain at this Conference.