As SSA Delays Rise Due To Budget Issues, Expect Intense Media Coverage

Recently, the Huffington Post had an interesting column titled “The Veterans Affairs Scandal and Plans for Downsizing the Social Security Administration” which explored the issue of wait times in further detail, contrasting the SSA’s troubles to that of the VA wait list scandal. Could this be the beginning of more media coverage of budget issues as SSA delays rise?

Dean Baker, co-director of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, wrote the piece, which focused on how wait times may be used for political purposes, and reported on through the media to push an agenda. We have posted a link to the column below in the source area, for your reading pleasure.

“Unfortunately the VA system is not the only part of the government where essential services may be threatened by cutbacks,” Baker wrote. “The [SSA] has recently disclosed plans for a major downsizing that will result in the closing of many more of its field offices. The goal is to handle the bulk of Social Security’s requests, questions and complaints through the Internet.”

The piece then discusses how these cutbacks could result in even further wait times over the years, as many people are not comfortable using the Internet to address service issues.

The furthering wait times could end up with media outlets highlighting minimal issues within the system, with people who are not receiving services voicing displeasure, when the real issue at hand is funding.

“There is no reason to expect the opponents of Social Security to be any more honest in the future. Every mistake that the program makes will be highlighted,” Baker wrote. “For this reason, it is not only essential that we minimize the instances where people don’t get the benefits to which they are entitled; we should also be concerned that the SSA has the capacity to keep a lid on improper payments.”

Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits?

Concerns over wait times or improper payments amidst budget concerns are valid.

Last month, the website reported that only 48 percent of those who sought Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits were approved at the hearing level in 2013, and only 33 percent of claimants were approved after their initial applications.

It would be expected that delays and approval denials would continue, as budgeting issues are not being addressed nationally.

It should be noted that to qualify for SSDI, a person suffering from a disability has to show the SSA that his or her condition will last longer than 12 months. For more information on Social Security disability qualifications, we suggest you visit our FAQ page.

With this in mind, you should contact a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney, who can help you through this process. For more information about the SSDI application process, contact our office at (918) 265-1404.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys


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