Tag: West Michigan Disability Law Center

Don’t Count On The Disability Trust Fund Going Bust In 2016 — Or Ever

     Since I noticed that payments from the Social Security Disability Trust Fund have reached near stasis, I’ve been wondering about that projection from Social Security’s Chief Actuary that the Disability Trust Fund will be exhausted in 2016. If you look at that projection, one of the first things you notice is that there isn’t just one prediction. There are three. The one commonly cited is


     From a report by Social Security’s Office of Inspector General (OIG):  

The SAA [Staff Attorney Adjudicator] Program [also known as Senior Attorney program] has contributed to both an increase in adjudicative capacity and improved average processing time. However, the number of SAA OTRs[On The Records] peaked in FY [Fiscal Year] 2010, and the decline continued through the first 5 months of

What A Deal!

     From the National Journal (emphasis added):

With an anxious eye toward the coming debt-ceiling negotiations,
House Republicans are drafting what members call a “menu” of mandatory
spending cuts to offer the White House in exchange for raising the
country’s borrowing limit.

This menu is more a matrix of politically fraught options for the
Obama administration to consider: Go small on

Up And Down With The Roller Coaster

      Social Security has issued updated numbers on payments of fees
to attorneys and some others for representing Social Security
claimants. These fees are withheld and paid by Social Security but come
out of the back benefits of the claimants involved. The attorneys and
others who have their fees withheld pay a user fee for this privilege. Since these fees are usually
paid at the same

SSA Not Yet Implementing DOMA Decision

     Social Security has issued new instructions on dealing with same sex marriage cases. Social Security’s Administrative Law Judges are now instructed to cancel any scheduled hearing dealing with this issue and to not make a decision in any case that has already been heard. I don’t know how many of these cases there may be but I’d bet the vast majority of them are couples who still live in the

Not Buying It

     Jay Barnes isn’t buying the claims that Social Security is pressuring its Administrative Law Judges to approve disability claims.

Soaring Disability Payments?

     We keep hearing that Social Security disability benefit payments are soaring. They’re going through the roof. It’s ruinous how rapidly disability payments are rising. Funny thing about that. It’s not happening, at least not anymore. Below is a chart showing Disability Insurance Benefits payments over the last two years. I know the chart contains some extraneous information but I couldn’t

Chief Actuary Projects Effects Of Immigration Reform On Social Security

     From a June 28 letter from Social Security’s Chief Actuary Stephen Goss to Senator Marco Rubio:

I am writing in response to your request for estimates of the long-range financial effects on Social Security of Senate Bill S. 744, as reported out by the Judiciary Committee, amended, and passed by the Senate on June 27. …

We estimate that enactment of this Bill would increase asset

Telephone Problems At ODAR Today

     I’m hearing reports that Social Security’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) offices nationwide are experiencing telephone difficulties today. It’s not clear to me whether this is affecting other parts of Social Security as well.

Some Agencies Were Prepared For Supreme Court Decision On DOMA

     I wrote last week that Social Security seemed unprepared for the decision of the Supreme Court holding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Some agencies were prepared for this decision. See the memo from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued just a day after Social Security issued staff instructions to hold all claims filed by those in same sex marriages.