From the blog of attorney Jonathan Ginsberg:
A January 21, 2006 email from Linda McMahon, SSA’s Deputy Commissioner for Operations, suggests that Medicare Part D issues are draining personnel time away from disability processing departments. The 800 number call centers are swamped as are Social Security district offices. With the SSA personnel focused on Medicare, delays in the SSDI processing continue to increase.
In addition, according to Representative Henry Waxman of California, Congress actually cut $200 million from SSA’s budget, further hampering SSA’s capacity to offer timely service.
These cuts and distractions all come at a time when SSA is rolling out another “new” disability determination process and is attempting to convert its paper filing system to electronic case files.
While I applaud Commissioner Barnhart for her efforts to cut the delays and improve the disability ajudication process, I hope that she has not bitten off more than she can chew.