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West Virginia News
October 22, 2012

Local Judicial Corruption In WV Social Security Office Could Topple National SSA Commissioner

Since at least 2005, the SSA's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review has come under fire for the huge backlog of disability cases that have sat for up to three years waiting for final determination if a claimant will receive benefits. Back in May 2007, SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue assured Congress that SSA would correct the problem of surging growth in the number of individuals awaiting a hearing for disability benefits. He described an ambitious plan the agency had recently launched "to eliminate the backlog of hearing requests by 2012" and also "to prevent its recurrence." At that time, appeals of 715,568 individuals were pending before what is arguably the largest court system in the world. Four years later, in March of 2011, the commissioner testified again, emphasizing his accomplishments since 2007 that included the appeals hearings backlog problem. He also testified that SSA significantly improved service and stewardship efforts. Not exactly true according to at least one respected watchdog group. But, information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, (TRAC) indicated that the overall number of individual claimants awaiting a hearing has not gone down but climbed to 746,712. That's 31,144 cases higher than it was when the SSA launched its expensive rehabilitation plan in 2007. The same data shows that between February 2011 and June 2011 backlog totals showed the largest single increase from 728,013 to 746,712. (18,699)

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2012
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