Backlog Leads to Inadequate Social Security Claim Review

October 4, 2012

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The Social Security Administration is so overrun by pending claims that officials are unable to conduct adequate reviews of applications, compounding problems at the already beleaguered agency.

A report released recently by congressional investigators revealed to Georgia social security claims lawyers that officials at Social Security are frequently overworked, and often, award disability benefits without conducting a proper review of these claims. The investigators analyzed a total of 300 Social Security applications from Alabama, Oklahoma and Virginia. In all of these cases, persons were awarded disability benefits. However, in more than 25% of these cases, the benefits were awarded without taking the consideration the presence of insufficient or incomplete evidence.

The investigators found that in several of the cases that were analyzed, Social Security officials approved of the claim without the benefit of strong medical evidence to corroborate the finding. In other cases, investigators were not able to explain their medical basis for the decision adequately. In yet other cases, the judges were overworked trying to deal with the case backlog, and were simply not able to review all the pieces of evidence.

This is not the first time that the Social Security Administration has faced criticism over its inability to deal with the backlog of disability claims. The agency currently faces a huge backlog of pending claims, although it says that it is working on reducing the backlog, by making improvements to the current system.

The economic downturn which began in 2008 further compounded Social Security's backlog problems. There were a huge number of claims that were filed by workers who lost their jobs, as well as aging baby boomers. This influx of benefits claims simply added to the backlog, causing immense strain on the agency's already limited resources, leaving the Social Security Administration teetering on the brink of insolvency.

Lisa Siegel is a Social Security disability lawyer, helping persons with disabilities in the metro Atlanta region recover their rightful disability benefits. If you are eligible for Social Security, and have had a claim denied, speak with us to learn your rights.