The powerful House Ways and Means Committee conducted a hearing and it focused on the Social Security Disability backlog. Part of the beginning of the tape was cut off so I didn't hear the beginning of the testimony. I'll summarize how I perceived it. The GAO think's there's inefficiency in the process. The SSA has all these different initiatives and new departments and things they are doing. They think things are getting better. The Judges said they each need at least one clerical employee and two attorneys each and they could put a dent in the backlog. They also want a new fully favorable case decision template that would help greatly with their efficiency. No one is going to get more money from Congress. SSA need to find ways to be more efficient as one member said, "just like a family or a business has to do." Some say you need both money and better efficiency. The backlog can't be reduced with just one or the other. Most of the members of the committee feel that this problem has been going on for way too long and they weren't hearing anything new for the most part. Also SSA wants some of their attorneys to be able to make decisions. The Judges don't want that because they have judicial independence and these attorneys report to SSA and would not have that. Also hearing the committee members questions and comments made me think they don't really know too much about the more detailed processes of the disability process but then that's not really their job. All they know is that their constituents are complaining and suffering.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!