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August 2011 Archives

SSD employee accused of stealing from beneficiaries

A California woman has been indicted on federal theft charges after she allegedly stole several thousands of dollars from Social Security beneficiaries. The woman, who worked at the Social Security Administration's district office in Whittier, California, had been charged with four counts of theft with a total of $6,000 stolen. However, federal investigators believe that she may have taken upwards of $17,000 from more than 15 different Social Security and Social Security Disability beneficiaries.

SSD insolvency is not inevitable, part two

Earlier this week, we discussed the recent alarmist media reports spelling impending doom for Social Security Disability and related programs. While not disputing the claim that the SSD trust fund would run dry by 2018 if Congress does not take action, Kathy Ruffing of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explained how the reports of the unprecedented increase in Social Security Disability recipients may not be completely accurate.

SSD insolvency is not inevitable, part one

You have probably seen the reports from nearly every news outlet, all of which loudly predict that Social Security Disability is quickly running out of money, and that the SSD trust fund will run dry by 2018. While there is some truth to the latter statement, Kathy Ruffing of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is quick to point out that Social Security Disability insolvency is completely avoidable, as there are many ways in which lawmakers can act to keep the program funded for several decades to come.

Errors in SSA death list cause loss of benefits, part two

Earlier this week, we talked about the all-too-frequent occurrence of the Social Security Administration erroneously marking a benefits recipient as dead when they are, in fact, very much alive. According to an investigation by the Social Security Office of the Inspector General, there were almost 37,000 improper entries into the Death Master File between May of 2007 and April of 2010.

Errors in SSA death list cause loss of benefits, part one

When a person receiving retirement, disability, or other benefits from the Social Security Administration passes away, the SSA enters his or her identifying information - name, birth date, death date, zip code, and Social Security number - into a list known as the Death Master File. After a benefit recipient is entered on this list, his or her benefit payments will stop automatically. Further, the SSA sells the deceased's identifying information to banks, credit bureaus, and the general public.

Sexual assault often leads to mental illness

Many people in California and across the United States are unaware that mental illness, and not just physical ailments and disabilities, may qualify an applicant for Social Security Disability benefits. However, these mental impairments are often more difficult to prove to Social Security Administration officials, so applicants should ensure that they have sufficient medical evidence and other information about their mental health issue and history.

Supplemental Security Income: an overview

On this blog, we often discuss the different benefits programs offered by the Social Security Administration with little detail, using only abbreviations to identify them. For someone who has recently become ill or disabled, and who is only beginning to consider applying for Social Security benefits, to say that the programs and their requirements can be confusing is a monumental understatement.

Social Security Disability will not face cuts until 2013

As the dust settles around the hotly-debated political time-bomb that was the recent debt ceiling negotiations, many recipients of public benefits such as Social Security Disability are likely wondering where the debt deal leaves them, and for good reason. The actual budget bill is long and confusing, as any good government document, so it is helpful when political reporters such as Nate Silver from the New York Times break down the essentials.

Debt deal will allow SSA to conduct more disability reviews

Under the highly debated debt ceiling and deficit-reduction deal, which was signed into law by President Obama earlier this week, there will be new strict spending caps enforced for government spending across the board. However, the deal contained a select few exceptions to the spending limits, one of which will give the Social Security Administration greater means to conduct disability reviews on current beneficiaries.

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