Social Security: A Crisis in Disability Claims

In our fast-paced world, mistakes are inevitable. This is especially true for Social Security employees who are under immense pressure, leading to an increase in errors. This has resulted in a crisis in Social Security.

Even in the best of times, there were always tasks that needed correction. But in these challenging times, the number of these tasks has skyrocketed. The workload on Social Security employees is not easing. They will remain overburdened for the foreseeable future.

The Role of Our Law Firm

As a law firm advocating for claimants, we request corrections for these mistakes, but the employees simply don’t have the bandwidth. It’s reaching a point where I fear the work isn’t going to get done – not now, not later, not ever.

Common Mistakes and Omissions

So, what kind of mistakes or omissions are we seeing? Here are a few examples:

  1. Claimant’s monthly benefits are authorized, but no action is taken regarding the back benefits or attorney fees.
  2. Claimants receive a small payment that appears to be their back benefits, but the amount seems far too low. Without an award certificate, neither the claimant nor the attorney can determine if there’s been a mistake. Find out more about this problem here.
  3. There’s the issue of a ‘phantom windfall offset.’ A claimant files an SSI claim, which is quickly denied due to income or resources. When the Title II claim is approved, no back benefits are paid because they’re waiting on payment of the SSI benefits for the windfall offset. Meanwhile, no back benefits or attorney fees are paid. Learn more about the ‘phantom windfall offset’ here.
  4. A field office employee makes a single phone call to a claimant about implementing SSI benefits. If they can’t leave a message, they immediately deny the claim for failure to cooperate. They’re supposed to make repeated efforts to contact the claimant and those who may be able to help, such as the claimant’s attorney, but that takes time. So, they quickly deny it to clear their desk.
  5. A fee petition is approved, but because it’s a little unusual, it doesn’t get paid.

Social Security Crisis

The Social Security system is under enormous stress. It’s fair to say it’s on the brink of collapse. Asking employees to work harder isn’t the solution. The system updates and IT changes the agency is implementing are barely making a dent. Even if employees were to come into the office every day, it would make little difference. The only viable solution is a significant increase in staff, like 10,000 more employees. But that might cost an additional billion dollars or so per year, so it’s currently out of the question.

Time for Action

The severity of the situation is not being adequately communicated to the public or members of Congress. It’s time to bring this Social Security crisis into the light.

 If you’re in NC and want help with your Social Security disability claim, call Hall & Rouse, P.C. at 1-844-425-5347