Social Security Disability is no longer facing a decades-long future. By 2016, recipients face a 21% reduction in payments because the fund will run out of money within the next four years.
Since jobs are scarce, some of the disappearing work force are going on disability, which is now easier to receive because of new rules which allow depression or mood swings over job loss as criteria for collecting benefits.
In an effort to speed up the process because of the heavy backlog, 25% of the applicants are being rushed through without being adequately reviewed.
Congressional staff reviewed 300 cases and a quarter of those cases were awarded benefits without reviewers “properly addressing insufficient, contradictory or incomplete evidence.”
In many cases, disability benefits were approved without citing adequate medical evidence or without explaining the medical basis for the decision.
In some cases, law judges, trying to reduce backlogs, didn’t take the time to review all the evidence. The law judges get about 500 cases each a year and are not eager to review them because of the pressure from social security to get the cases out, according to Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.
Mary Hinkle, spokesperson for the Social Security Administration, said she shared the concern of congress and has undertaken an aggressive set of quality initiatives. She said the administration has raised the bar for hiring of law judges and they hold judges accountable for impartiality.
SSDA is being flooded with applicants who can’t find jobs.
Ferreting out the waste and fraud does not appear to be happening as promised.
Read the report here.
Check here for information about record number of applicants for social security disability.