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November 2011 Archives

Are SSA's efforts to reduce SSD backlog helping or hurting? (3)

Last week, we began an in-depth look into the new procedures implemented into the Social Security Disability review process in the federal Social Security Administration office in Baltimore. In an effort to reduce SSD application and appeal wait times and backlogs, SSA officials are now requiring doctors to take all cases they are assigned, even if they are completely unfamiliar with the applicant's disability or ailment.

Are SSA's efforts to reduce SSD backlog helping or hurting? (2)

Earlier this week, we wrote about the Social Security Administration office in Baltimore, Maryland, which recently lost about one-third of its disability reviewers after agency officials essentially instructed doctors to work faster for less money. Although that was likely difficult to stomach, the tipping point for most of the doctors who quit or were fired for failing to comply with the new procedures was the fact they would be forced to make decisions about applicants with disabilities or ailments with which they were completely unfamiliar.

Are SSA's efforts to reduce SSD backlog helping or hurting? (1)

Throughout the history of this blog (and as recently as last week), we have written about the continually increasing backlog of Social Security Disability application appeals, and about the growing frustration among applicants who are forced to wait longer to have their applications reviewed. Certainly, SSA officials are aware of this troubling trend, and they have attempted to come up with a solution to the ongoing problem. But in recent months, many agency employees have expressed their belief that the remedies proposed by SSA officials are doing more harm than good.

SSD waiting period increases as baby boomers age

In recent months, we have written several blog posts about the troubling wait time for Social Security Disability (SSD) applications and appeals to be considered by Social Security Administration (SSA) officials and administrative law judges. According to a recent statement by an SSA regional communications director, however, the problem may only get worse before it gets better.

30 years of disability benefits awarded retroactively to widow

Today is Veteran's Day: A day that honors those who have served our country and risked their lives. It also honors the families of veterans who also sacrificed when the say goodbye to their loved ones for months on end and often losing their primary income when the soldier comes home injured.

More employees being asked to contribute to disability insurance

The weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving typically entail an activity that is somewhat of a ritual among employees in California and throughout the U.S.: open enrollment. This is the time of year when workers change their health insurance and other benefits elections, and they are generally bound to those choices for the next calendar year.

Should marijuana be legalized for treatment of PTSD? (three)

Last week, we examined the potential effectiveness of medical marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans and the many others who suffer from the disorder. With the recently proven ineffectiveness of Risperdal and similar antipsychotic medications to treat PTSD, researchers have turned their attention to medical marijuana as a potential method of treatment.

Should marijuana be legalized for treatment of PTSD? (two)

Earlier this week, we discussed the growing movement to legalize medical marijuana as a method of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, after researchers learned that antipsychotic drugs are largely ineffective at treating the debilitating effects of the disease. PTSD is common in military veterans, who often have trouble dealing with what they have seen, heard, and experienced during active combat. With all troops being pulled out of Iraq by the end of the year, it is essential that medical professionals find an effective way to treat PTSD soon.

Should marijuana be legalized for treatment of PTSD? (one)

Recently, President Obama announced that all United States troops would by pulled out of Iraq by the end of the year, marking a major milestone in the years-long conflict that has sent thousands of military service members into active combat in the region. However, the battle will likely be far from over for the Iraq veterans, who must now re-acclimate themselves into their lives and society while dealing with the physical and mental effects of active combat.

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