Astrue Laments State Layoffs Affecting Disabled

The New York Times joins the chorus of voices rising about layoffs by state governors. The governors need to slash budgets, but some of the jobs cut impact people on or applying for disability benefits:

“The nation’s top Social Security official says benefits for tens of thousands of people with severe disabilities are being delayed by furloughs and layoffs of state employees around the country.

The official, Michael J. Astrue, the commissioner of Social Security, said Sunday that “governors are hurting their own states, their own citizens, and increasing the backlog of claims” by furloughing workers who make disability decisions. State officials have announced furloughs, layoffs and hiring freezes to help balance budgets battered by the recession.

“The states’ response is completely illogical,” Mr. Astrue said. See his remarks and story here