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Social Security Disability: Management of Disability Claims Workload Will Require comprehensive Planning: Testimony Before Subcommittees on Social Security and Income Security and Family Support, Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives
Statement of Daniel Bertoni, Dir., Education, Workforce, and Income Security, GAO. For years, the Social Security Admin. (SSA) has been challenged to manage its large disability claims workload. Difficulties in making timely and accurate decisions have contributed to backlogs accumulating at different levels of the claims process. These backlogs have occurred most often at the hearings level, the level at which initial claims that were denied are appealed and await a hearing before an administrative law judge. Claimants often experienced long waits for a decision on their claim because of this backlog. In May 2007, SSA released a plan designed to eliminate its hearings-level backlog. GAO was subsequently asked by Congress to evaluate this plan and issued a report in Sept. 2009. This testimony discusses SSA's backlog reduction plan and the challenges the agency faces in managing its overall claims workload. It draws primarily from GAO reports, and recent reports issued by SSA's Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Figures.
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