How Will President Trump’s Hiring Freeze Affect People with Disabilities?

Photo of office paperworkIf your Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) claim is denied, it’s estimated that you could wait around 526 days for your appeal to get processed. This news is hard to hear for the approximately 1.1 million people currently waiting for such decisions, but things might be getting worse. Experts are saying that this wait time might get longer and the President’s executive order could be the cause.

Will President Trump’s Hiring Freeze Affect People with Disabilities?

President Trump has ordered a hiring freeze on federal employment. That means no federal agencies can hire new workers to help handle their workloads, and that has put a strain on the Social Security Administration (SSA). Around 1,650 judges currently consider claims for SSDI, but reports say that many of them are overtaxed.

Judge Marilyn Zahm, the president of the Association of Administrative Law Judges, says that judges working for the SSA are working extra hours that they aren’t being compensated for so they can review thousands of pages of medical records for the claimants they are assessing. She says this is one of the major slowdowns when it comes to processing these appeals, and not being able to hire more judges could slow the process even further.

Former commissioners of the SSA under presidents Bush and Clinton also agree that the hiring freeze could make the appeals waitlist longer, but the Trump Administration says it’s necessary. White House officials claim that this freeze will help make the government more efficient and effective, but many questions still remain. Until then, the SSA hope to apply for an exemption from the order so it can keep higher administrative law judges to prevent the backlog from growing. However, there has been no word back from the President’s staffers.

Do you think the hiring freeze will slow the 526-day waitlist? Do you think the freeze will make the SSA more efficient? Head over to Twitter and Facebook to let us know, and keep following your Tulsa disability attorneys on this blog to find out what will happen next.

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