Did the Social Security Administration uncover a secret that will help the agency process its backlog of claims a bit faster? Many government workers have been obliged to work from home lately out of safety concerns — and that’s having a positive effect on productivity.
According to the Social Security Administration, approximately 53,000 employees have been working remotely to process claims for new benefits and handle appeals. This largely affects those seeking Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), since many other types of claims (particularly, retirement claims of any kind) are processed almost entirely electronically. Keeping those claims in motion is important, especially because many of those potential beneficiaries have already waited months or years to obtain the income and medical benefits they desperately need.
Well, the president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 220 says the new arrangements have increased overall productivity among employees and reduced the backlog of pending claims by 11% since March 23 of this year — when the first wide-scale telework initiative was begun.
That’s a remarkable achievement. Backlogs in the disability claims process have been the focus of many complaints and government studies. An initial determination of disability takes months. If that claim is denied, the applicant has to begin an appeals process that can prove disastrously long. Advocates say that thousands have died in the last decade while waiting on their chance to plead a case in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), so anything the agency can do to lower that backlog and speed up the claims process is a help.
If your Social Security Disability application has been denied, find out how an attorney can help.