Trump’s Hiring Freeze May Worsen 526-Day Disability Case Backlog

January 30, 2017

President Donald Trump’s federal hiring freeze may exacerbate a backlog of appeals for Social Security Disability Insurance that has grown so big that an average case takes more than a year to be heard.

“These are people who are desperate,” Judge Marilyn Zahm, president of the Association of Administrative Law Judges union, said. “There may be a hiring freeze on federal employment, but there’s no freeze on people getting older, people getting sicker, people having injuries and...

Tangled in fraud probe, 100s face loss of disability checks

January 4, 2017
The Washington Post

Donna Dye saw the coal truck come barreling over the horizon and her head started spinning with that familiar, desperate urge to end it all.

She thought of the disconnect notices, the engagement ring she pawned to keep the lights on, the house she loved and would probably lose. Life insurance was the only bill that was up to date; this way, she thought, it might look like an accident.

Months had passed since the letter arrived from the...

A million-man waiting list for disability benefits

January 4, 2017
The Des Moines Register

It’s the stuff of nightmares: Permanently injured in an auto accident, you lose your ability to work and must apply for disability benefits.

Faced with mounting medical bills, as well as the usual expenses for groceries and rent, you go to your local Social Security Administration office to secure desperately needed federal disability benefits.

You approach the counter, see a sign advising you to “Take a number, please,” and you comply. The receptionist calls out, “Number...

Social Security needs to be reformed, not have its funding cut

December 21, 2016

Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, who is chairman of the Social Security subcommittee on the Ways and Means Committee, introduced a bill to “fix” Social Security last week shortly before Congress decamped for the holidays. It was for show, as there was no way Congress would act on the measure this year, and the bill would need to be reintroduced next year in a new Congressional session.

Still, Johnson’s move evoked the standard responses — support from conservatives and...