Watchdog Reports Reveal Problems at Social Security –
Recent “watchdog” reports have revealed several problem plaguing the strained, underfunded Social Security Administration. Unless changes are made, our experienced Social Security attorneys worry that the agency may cease to effectively serve older and disabled Americans, even before 2034, which is the currently projected year in which Social Security is expected to run short of funds at the current rate.
OIG Watchdog Report on Social Security
A recent watchdog report issued by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) confirms that Social Security Administration staff members have been consistently doing the wrong thing when explaining the rights of people claiming survivor benefits.
The report identified 13,564 people currently receiving benefits who had the option of filing for either their survivor or their retirement benefit – and in 41 out of 50 people (82%) beneficiaries were given the wrong information, and would have been eligible for a higher monthly benefit amount if they had delayed their retirement application until age 70.
GOA Watchdog Report on Social Security
Many of Social Security’s problems have been caused by the cumulative impact of years of underfunded agency operations – and our Social Security attorneys realize that expecting a sudden and sustained improvement is not realistic, since more Social Security budget cuts are soon to be on the way under the current administration.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress to monitor government programs. According to a recent GAO report, 170,000 individuals visit and 250,000 people call the 1,200 Social Security field offices every day. A recent GAO report revealed several disturbing trends in the current Social Security Administration.
Here are a few facts from the GAO’s recent report that our Social Security Attorneys find very troubling:
Social Security Disability Backlogs
Backlogs in deciding disability appeals continue to worsen. The number of Social Security Disability appealed claims pending at the end of 2017 was approximately 1.1 million compared to about 700,000 in 2010.
The average time to process Social Security Disability appeals increased from 426 days to 605 days during that same time period.
Poor Online Social Security Disability Support
According to a survey conducted by the Social Security Administration, the most common reason that applicants started but failed to complete a Social Security Disability application online was that they could not understand what the questions meant.
Social Security Disability Employee Cutbacks
An expected 21,000 Social Security Administration employees will be retiring from the by the end of fiscal year 2022.” How many of these will be replaced (if any) remains to be seen. Additionally, there will be a great loss of skills, institutional knowledge, and leadership as these long term employees leave service.
Social Security Administration Outdated Information Technology
The Social Security Administration’s legacy IT systems are increasingly outdated, making them difficult and expensive to maintain. Many of the IT systems used for determining retirement benefits eligibility and amounts were over 30 years old – with some written in a programming language called COBOL that was developed in the late 1950s.
The Bottom Line for the Social Security Administration
Worker payroll taxes continue to fund Social Security benefits, however the Social Security Administration’s operating budget must be approved by Congress every year, in each year’s federal budget. For reasons that our Social Security attorneys simply do not understand (and that defy common sense), Congress has continued to starve Social Security of funding – even though demand for its services have soared due to rising baby boomer retirements.
Top Long Beach Social Security Attorneys
With these documented backlogs, inefficiencies, and budget cuts at the Social Security Administration it is now harder than ever – and takes longer than ever – to get approved for the Social Security Disability benefits for which you qualify.
Having an experienced Social Security Disability Attorney by your side can make the Social Security Disability process faster and easier – and typically vastly improve your chances of successfully obtaining benefits for any disabling condition. Call our experienced lawyers today for a free consultation.