Backlog Blues Persist

The Social Security Administration has been working for years to reduce its backlog of disability claims, which now stands at 780,000 claims. It even hired and trained 8,600 new employees last fiscal year.

But any progress it made has come to an abrupt halt. Largely because of the recession, Americans filed 400,000 more disability claims than predicted last year and the agency expects 700,000 more to be filed this year than in 2008.

SSA is not alone. Agencies across government that provide federal assistance are seeing their workloads explode as Americans seek unemployment insurance payments, health care insurance, school lunches, food stamps and college loans. Benefit claims and payouts have jumped in the last year at assistance programs run by the Labor, Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Education, and Health and Human Services departments, among others. See article here: