My dad, who works for SSA's Office of Hearings and Appeals sent me this. A lot of people are turned down for Social Security benefits because they simply have not worked enough and paid enough in taxes. These people file an appeal, which means the government has to A)fight the appeal or B) send the bum a check. So the government has created a rule that lets them do the latter. It's sort of like settling out of court.
Just thought you would like to know what your government is doing to deal with the crushing backlog of requests for hearing in disability cases in the Social Security Administration. I am particularly intrigued by the "No Work Experience Profile". Consider this: A person who didn't bother to get a high school education ("no more than a limited education"), hasn't bothered to work or has worked "under the table" in the past 15 years ("no past relevant work"), has managed to live to age 55, and has any impairment that causes more than a minimum limitation on his or her ability to work ("severe impairment"). Would you consider such a person to be disabled? Well, the Social Security Administration now does. The lack of past work experience would make the person ineligible for regular Social Security disability benefits, but the person could qualify for Supplemental Security Income. We call this "paying down the backlog." Just thought you would all like to know how wisely your tax money is being spent. The toughest part of my job lately has been holding my nose with one hand as I type decisions with the other.
Michael B. Enders
Hartford, CT Hearing Office