HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Delays in Social Security Disability Claims

Frank Pasquale at Concurring Opinions writes about the recent New York Times article concerning the delays in processing of social security disability claims.  He states,

Timely justice in these cases would require more staff to deal with appeals. Instead, continuing budget battles mean that SSA "will probably operate on the basis of continuing resolutions, which will keep agency spending at last year’s level and doom the plan to add judges."

The parsimonious and inaccurate bureaucracy excels at a few things, though. It generates lots of work for those who represent the claimants. And it displays a Kafkaesque willingness to help once it's too late:

In the past, said Walter Patterson, a disability lawyer in Charlotte, N.C., clients who received a foreclosure warning were pushed up the waiting list for quicker hearings. But as the hearing offices have become overwhelmed, he said, they now expedite cases only after seeing an actual eviction notice — usually too late to help.

Like the costly ER interventions that could be avoided if only we provided preventive medical care for the poor, the dilatory aid offered by a torpid SSA should provoke a rethink of bureaucratic justice here. Though the agency is under stress, it should no longer hide behind Mathews v. Eldridge to justify a deeply flawed and unfair system.

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Comments

I have Bell's Palsy and enjoy your blog very much. First time I've commented, but have been reading here and there.
Great blog. I enjoy reading it every chance I get and value your opinions!

Posted by: Disabled Chat | Jul 24, 2008 7:10:12 AM

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