Commissioner Andrus referred to this rehire project of judges in his February 2012 message by saying… “While we are doing some very limited hiring, we are relying on retired annuitants and overtime at least until next year’s budget situation clarifies. I appreciate the help our recent retirees are giving us, and I encourage newer employees to learn as much as possible from these experts.”
SSA will also halt any further opportunities for early retirement. “Given the budget uncertainty, we are delaying a decision about offering early out retirement. We will revisit this issue in the fall when we have a better sense about our FY 2013 resource level.”
The Future Of Social Security Disability Insurance
December 2011 Republican Ways and Means RSS Article…
“The Social Security Disability Insurance program pays benefits to individuals with a disability that meets certain medical criteria, as long as they worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. The continuing growth of the program is striking. At a time when workers paying into the system has increased nearly 70 percent between 1970 and 2010, the number of people receiving disability benefits increased by almost 300 percent, from 2.6 million to nearly 10 million.
By 2020, the number of beneficiaries will continue to increase by 18 percent to 11.8 million. By then total benefits paid will reach $188 billion. That’s a 52 percent increase over the $124 billion paid in benefits last year.
Experts tell us the program’s growth is due to the changing workforce, including the aging of the baby boomers, changes in disability policy over the years, and the still struggling economy. That continued growth is putting a massive strain on the Social Security Disability Insurance program.
According to the 2011 Trustees’ Report, without Congressional action, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund will be unable to pay full benefits beginning in 2018, just a little over six years from now. The path we are on is unsustainable, and we are putting individuals with disabilities at risk if we do not act soon.” End…
US Congressman Johnson Claims SSA Program Being Abused By Con Artists
On January 17, 2012 U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee stated Social Security has become filled with waste, fraud, and abuse in the disability insurance program and that it cheats honest hardworking American taxpayers.
“We need to protect the American taxpayers from con artists, who are stealing from the system. How does he propose this? “By making sure benefits are paid only to those who deserve them.” (link below)
SSA Commissioner Michael J. Astrue surmised his February 2012 message to all employees by admitting this is an uphill battle and … “There is no silver bullet, but we can’t ignore fiscal reality and assume that we can go on doing business as usual. As Deputy Commissioner Colvin has said, we will do less with less. We continue to look for ways to streamline and simplify work and identify what work we can stop doing.”
His message to all SSA employees, like the assurances to Congress back in 2007 regarding resolving the backlogged cases, offers no true light at the end of the tunnel for Americans waiting on their disability appeals or counting on SSA to be there when they retire. What will the Commissioner testify to Congress in another 4 years?
As reported above, according to the 2011 Trustees’ Report, without Congressional action, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund will be unable to pay full benefits beginning in 2018, just a little over six years from now. “The path we are on is unsustainable, and we are putting individuals with disabilities at risk if we do not act soon.”
It appears on the surface that SSA top officials are throwing everything at the wall hoping something will stick to it that offers a resolution to the ongoing problems ranging from employee morale, budget restraints, pay freezes, workloads, retirement, backlogs, simplifications, etc. This doesn’t include the report that by 2018, the Trust Fund wont be able to pay full benefits.
US Congressman Johnson accuses the SSA of becoming filled with “waste, fraud, and abuse in the disability insurance program and that it cheats honest hardworking American taxpayers.” That we need to protect Americans from “con-artists?”
When taking Astrue’s recent message, Congressman Johnsons statement, the Ways and Means Article and 2011 Trustee’s report and put them all together, you have one hell of a mess that a whole box of silver bullets cant stop.
End Of Story....
Jack Swint - Publisher
West Virginia News