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Much More Than Checks: How Social Security Depends on the Mail

  August 27, 2020 | By Mark Miller, The New York Times

Top Democrats are warning that the problems afflicting the United States Postal Service pose a threat to more than voting rights — a slowdown in services, they say, will also hurt seniors who rely on letter carriers for Social Security checks, medications and other critical mail. Already, concerns about prescription drug deliveries are surfacing —…

Return to Office? How About Never, Social Security Union Says

  May 8, 2020 | By Louis C. LaBrecque, Bloomberg Law

Telework at the Social Security Administration is boosting call center answer rates and otherwise improving customer service, the leader of a union that represents about 25,000 field office and call center workers says. The agency should allow employees to continue teleworking to the maximum extent possible even after the Covid-19 pandemic abates, said Ralph de…

Cutting Social Security Disability Benefits Can Backfire Horribly

  January 15, 2020 | By Arthur Delaney, HuffPost

In the early 1980s, the Ronald Reagan administration terminated benefits for thousands of disabled people who were supposedly loafing on Social Security Disability Insurance instead of getting a job. The cuts sparked a public outcry, state government protests, serious congressional pushback and court rulings restoring people’s benefits. Now the Donald Trump administration is pursuing changes…

Trump Administration Quietly Goes After Disability Benefits

  January 7, 2020 | By Arthur Delaney, HuffPost

Some Americans could lose Social Security Disability Insurance benefits under a recent Trump administration proposal ― a change that could affect thousands of people but that has received little attention since it was first floated in November. Under the proposed change, the government would look more closely at whether certain disability insurance recipients still qualify…

A “view” from the courtroom: A search for the elusive end of the term

  June 17, 2019 | By Mark Walsh, SCOTUSblog

The bar section is packed this morning because it is the last day for courtroom bar admissions this term. Among those who will be sworn in at the end of today’s session are groups from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Georgetown University Law Center and the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives.

SSA officials in Baltimore refuse to answer your Social Security questions

  May 3, 2019 | By Jonathan Walsh, News 5 Cleveland

BALTIMORE, Maryland — All day long, 5 On Your Side Investigators have been fighting for answers to your social Security questions all while visiting our nation’s capitol. Prior to coming to D.C., we tried to get an on-camera interview with the top people at SSA. We called. We emailed. They declined. So, we printed your…

Changes coming to federal disability programs’ application process in PA

  April 17, 2019 | By Kate Giammarise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The process of applying for federal disability assistance will change this week in Pennsylvania — and for many applicants, it will become longer and more complicated. Anyone applying for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits, Supplemental Security Income, or both, will face an additional step in what already can be a lengthy process. The change is…

U.S. government weighs social-media snooping to detect Social Security fraud

  March 29, 2019 | By Mark Miller, Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Getting followed on social media could soon gain a new meaning for workers applying for Social Security disability benefits. The Trump administration is working on a plan to let the Social Security Administration (SSA) check up on claimants on Facebook and Twitter in order to root out fraud and abuse in the…

On Disability and on Facebook? Uncle Sam Wants to Watch What You Post

  March 10, 2019 | By Robert Pear, The New York Times

WASHINGTON — If you’re on federal disability payments and on social media, be careful what you post. Uncle Sam wants to watch. The Trump administration has been quietly working on a proposal to use social media like Facebook and Twitter to help identify people who claim Social Security disability benefits without actually being disabled. If,…

Social Security Proposal Could Strip Benefits From Thousands of Non-English Speakers

  February 5, 2019 | By Eoin Higgins, Splinter

A proposed rule change to Social Security benefits could block people that speak limited or no English from getting benefits through the system’s disability insurance program. The change would remove the “inability to communicate in English” from the list of educational categories that are considered when the Social Security Administration’s administrative law judges determine who…

Denied: How some Tennessee doctors earn big money denying disability claims

  January 6, 2019 | By Anita Wadhwani and Mike Reicher, Tennessean

By the time Alan Chrisman was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer, he was too sick to work. The cancer had spread to his lungs. His doctors said he may never get better. Chrisman, 59, applied for disability, the federal safety net program he contributed to with every paycheck during his 30 years working as…

Supreme Court Ruling to Shake Up Social Security Disability Claim System

  July 26, 2018 | By Aliison Bell, ThinkAdvisor

Changes in how the Social Security Administration (SSA) processes claims for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) could soon cause new headaches for group disability plans — and for the financial professionals who sell, service and administer the plans. Witnesses talked about the looming SSDI claim determination changes Wednesday, at a hearing organized by the House…

High Court Dispute Over SEC Judges Could Affect Other Agencies

  April 19, 2018 | By Jennifer Bennett, Bloomberg

Administrative law judges throughout the federal government could be affected by a case the U.S. Supreme Court will hear April 23 on the constitutionality of those appointed at the SEC. At issue in the case is whether the Securities and Exchange Commission properly followed the procedures laid out in the Constitution for appointing government officials…

U.S. Social Security funding should ease customer-service crisis

  March 27, 2018 | By Mark Miller, Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Need help from the Social Security Administration with your benefits? Be prepared for a long wait. Years of budget cuts by Congress have left the Social Security Administration (SSA) short of staff on its toll-free customer service line. Long lines form daily outside many local field offices. And the backlog of people…

Applying for Social Security disability? Tips to increase your odds of success

  January 18, 2018 | By Cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio–Applying for Social Security disability benefits is not easy or quick for most people. The process can be particularly daunting given that in Ohio, only 34 percent of initial cases are approved and when denied, the appeal process can stretch on for months–and sometimes years. Applicants are out of work and facing a disabling…

SSI backlog: Thousands around Philly waiting more than two years for disability hearing

  January 7, 2018 | By Claudia Vargas, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Using a cane to balance her steps, Adrianne Gunter made her way to a small courtroom on the 21st floor of a Center City building where a judge awaited via video screen. Gunter had been waiting 788 days for this hearing Dec. 13. The 33-year-old West Philadelphia native and University of the Arts graduate was…

Elliot Raphaelson: Applying for disability benefits

  August 23, 2017 | By Jill on the Money, The Chicago Tribune

In past columns, I have encouraged people who qualify to learn about and apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The Social Security Administration has a strict definition of who is disabled. You must have an impairment severe enough to prevent you from doing substantial work, and that condition must have lasted (or must…

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