For many years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has undergone many changes to better serve the American people. The most recent ones, which were enacted in 2011 and 2012, reduced the SSA’s workforce by almost 11,000 and its weekly field office hours by eight in an attempt to improve efficiency. Joe Davidson, writer of The Washington Post’s Federal Daily column, says that in the end, these changes only had mixed results:
The inspector general surveyed field office managers and found that the list of drawbacks resulting from the cuts was longer than the list of benefits.
Some managers “reported that the reduced public hours generally improved workload processing as well as staff training and morale,” according to the IG. However, they also “reported drawbacks from the reduced public hours, such as increased wait times, crowded lobbies, and limited appointment availability.”
Seeing that the SSA now has even fewer resources to meet the needs of millions, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that applying for Social Security benefits is a lot harder today than it was before. All the more reason, then, for people to look for reliable Social Security lawyers, like those from Jan Dils Attorney at Law, who can help present their SSA applications forward and win the benefits they deserve. After all, even with all the budget cuts, the SSA is still very strict when reviewing the documents that people send them as they apply for Social Security benefits.
Case in point: medical records. These are arguably the most important documents that people will need to claim benefits, especially if the applicant is seeking to earn SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) benefits as a result of an accident. It’s the job of a renowned Social Security attorney to ensure that these papers are as comprehensive and accurate as possible. This is because the SSA can still deny an SSDI application if the medical records don’t provide enough support to the claim that the person incurred ‘functional limitations’ (i.e. inability to walk or stand) as a result of the accident. The SSA may also request additional exams first before an application is processed, thus extending the applicant’s waiting time even further.
Attorneys can help their clients through these obstacles, every step of the way, by providing much needed legwork assistance and proper legal representation when applicants are finally called for an SSA hearing. That said, while hiring an attorney isn’t a strict requirement there is no denying that they can help make the claims process much faster. Especially today, when the SSA is working in a reduced capacity, hiring a Social Security lawyer becomes more relevant than before.
(Source: Social Security clients hurt by staff, office-hour cuts, The Washington Post, August 14, 2014)