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How the Social Security Administration is Not Working For You

By Scott B. Elkind, Esq.

Ever wonder how your money is being spent by the government???? We all do. As you will see, the Social Security Administration is capable of achieving large scale government waste like so many other divisions of our national government.

The Office of the Investigator General (OIG) released its audit findings concerning the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) “Completion of Program Integrity Workloads” in August, 2014. The basis of this audit was to investigate whether dedicated funding received by SSA since 2009 for the purpose of conducting continuing disability reviews (CDRs) and non-medical determinations was producing the desired results. Surprisingly, despite receiving $1.2B in dedicated funding to perform these particular reviews and determinations, SSA was performing less of this work that it had done in the past. In fact, SSA performed about half of the number CDRs in fiscal year 2013 than it did in fiscal year (FY) 2002. Further, SSA only performed 30% of non-medical determinations for SSI recipients as it has in 2010 and less than 36% it performed in FY 2003.

Based on these findings, OIG, with SSA’s agreement, has recommended that SSA prioritize its resources toward medical CDR ad non-medical redetermination workloads to ensure that “only eligible individuals continue receiving benefits and are receiving the correct payment amounts.”

Therefore, the actual result of this audit was that SSA was found to have squandered dedicated funds in excess of $1B and was only told to redirect its activities. Maybe next time, SSA will need to sit in a “quiet chair.”

In addition, SSA has made a savings effort by reducing the hours of its field office operations. Even though field offices are the primary points for providing contact for face-to-face services to the public, SSA began a program of early closures in August, 2011 by closing field offices 30 minutes earlier each day. In November, 2012, SSA extended the early closures to one hour. Then, in January, 2013, SSA started closing field offices at noon on Wednesdays. At this time, field offices are only open 27 hours a week reduced from 35 hours a week. SSA has announced in its August 7, 2014 Press Release that these actions allows it to provide “adequate services to the public.” Who are these folks kidding???? Further, SSA announced that its field office staff “continues working” despite not being available to serve the very public whose tax dollars support it.

SSA has requested $12.024B in funding for FY 2015. Just think about how this huge sum of money can be squandered???? The ways could be limitless. Of course with increasing caseloads due to the aging of this nation, it is nice to know that SSA planned in advance to be available to the public to assist in its hour of need —– NOT!!!

Posted in Social Security Disability Benefits | Tagged , , |

 

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