Denver Disability Advocate Explains the Social Security Administration: A Bureaucratic Nightmare
The fundamental problem with the Social Security Administration (SSA) as any Denver disability advocate can attest is the sheer size of the bureaucracy. Consider the following:
- The SSA has more than 57,000 employees
- There exists a separate SSA Office of Disability Adjudication and Review that employs about 8,000 people, which includes some 1,300 Administrative Law Judges (ALJs)
- Individual states employ more than 14,000 individuals who make the initial determination of a claimant’s disability application before the ALJ review
Problems with a SSA Disability Application
The application process requires a specific procedure which must be adhered to. If some problems arise in this process, it becomes extremely difficult to figure out how to proceed. A Denver disability advocate, with experience in such matters, will often face difficulties in determining who to contact and in actually reaching that person.
Two Different Types of Disability
The SSA bureaucracy is further complicated by the fact that there are two different types of disability, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). When the programs change, it is a huge task to get the information to all SSA employees who need to be informed. For example, statistics show that the answers provided through the SSA’s toll-free telephone number involving SSI were incorrect 25% of the time
The SSA has tried to develop a protocol for complex decisions, but this has not worked well for disability decisions below the administrative law judge level. A Denver disability advocate cautions that medical-vocational issues tend to be complicated and many state agencies are simply inadequate to handle such issues. Although each claimant’s case should be evaluated on its own merits, there is a tendency for many low-level bureaucrats to follow the rules too rigidly, whether or not the application of the rules makes any sense or not.
Navigating the SSA bureaucratic maze is difficult. However, a legal representative may help you make better sense of it all. John Cimino, a Denver disability advocate, offers a complimentary consultation to help you understand your rights and options. Call (303) 830-7274 for an appointment today.