Tuesday, November 8, 2011
SSA Disability --Management by the numbers
Managers in the Social Security Administration, struggling to handle a skyrocketing number of disability cases, had an unusual request for their workers the end of September: slow down.
Social Security judges and employees in Florida, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio and Arizona were among those instructed to set aside disability cases in late September, with the slowdown allowing managers to boost their performance numbers for the coming fiscal year, which started October 1.
On Monday, September 26, 2011, the Social Security Administration's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review closed out 230 cases nationally, compared with the roughly 3,000 it usually averages a day, a government official said. No cases were closed in the SSA's Boston and Denver regions that day and the Seattle region closed just one case.
It is believed that under political pressure to clear the growing backlog of applications, SSA leaders set numerical goals for judges and field offices in order to expedite cases. It was management's obsession with these goals that led to their directive to go slow the last week of September.
William C. Wombacher, Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. www.wombacherlaw.com