I have no doubt that a significant percentage of disability claimants denied by Social Security judges do have significant medical or mental health problems that would prevent them from performing competitive work. Why, then, are these honest but unfortunate men and women receiving denials when they should be receiving fully favorable decisions?
This is a very unsettled time in the world of Social Security disability and there are forces in play that you as the claimant and me as the claimant’s attorney cannot control.
On one hand, we have a President and Congress who are intent on expanding our nation’s social safety net. Whatever your political leanings, there can be no doubt that the federal government has committed itself to spend trillions of dollars in various social programs. Politicians of both parties assure us that Social Security and Medicare are sacred and that we will not balance our budget on the backs of seniors and the poor.
At the same time, Congress regularly holds hearings to identify instances where disability claimants have defrauded the system, or where judges have approved 99% of cases brought before them. I recently highlighted the efforts by Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn to crack down on fraud and inefficiency in the disability decision making process. You can view that video here.
The press regularly reports that the disability trust fund will run out of money in 2016 “unless something is done.” Here is an example of one such article from the Washington Post. Continue reading →