Even the most astute observers of political theater can rarely forecast which issues will become an important part of the banter during election season. Our Los Angeles readers may have noticed, however, that Social Security Disability has become one of this election year’s hot topics.
Some of our readers may recall seeing a previous post here regarding several administrative law judges who recently testified in front of the United State Congress. For those who don’t, the story pertained to the fact that these judges testified that they approved the vast majority of disability claims that came before them. That was the part of their testimony that caught the most attention, with some lawmakers labeling the judges “rubber stamps” for disability claims. The reality, however, was lost in the cracks: that by the time the claims got in front of these judges they had already been denied and appealed.
Nonetheless, some of the politicians that are running for office this year appear to have decided to make the issue of SSD benefits a rallying cry. A recent report indicated that several members of the House of Representatives signed on to a strongly-worded letter to the acting Social Security Administration Commissioner, Carolyn W. Colvin, about this issue.
It should be made clear, however, that no one seems to be suggesting that SSD benefits are not a valid and helpful source of financial support for millions of Americans. The point seems to be that many people, including those responsible for the oversight of the Social Security Administration, would simply like to see a more efficient system in place that can help those individuals who truly need this assistance because of their inability to work due to disability.
Source: The Washington Times, “House GOP: Time to crack down on Social Security judges who ‘rubber stamp’ disability benefits,” Tom Howell Jr., July 3, 2014