Jury is out on fairness of Social Security
I can tell you that dealing with Social Security has made me mad as hell. I have written about it. If I complain directly to the agency, I fear retaliation by the unknown. There is a woman administrator whose name shows up almost once a week on letters telling me “the check is in the mail.” It is the same letter sent over and over again because they made a mistake in not sending the first check of my retirement on time. Because they did not act properly on my online registration and intervened with people doing things wrong, we have a problem of their owing me money for months on end.
As for my disability claim – I AM DEAF – they asked if I want my correspondence in brail? For crying out loud are they deaf and blind?
They told me “officially” that applying for disability is a long process—six months, and that I should expect a rejection to which I should appeal and if that doesn’t work, I should get a lawyer. If you look at the amount we’re talking about, getting a lawyer could consume the benefit. I am trapped.
So, if and when I come before a Social Security magistrate, the first thing I would like to do is ring his neck as he is a representative of a failed institution. I am not making a threat, mind you, I am telling you how I think most people feel by the time they GET TO THE END OF THEIR ROPE!
“Social Security judges facing more violent threats
By SAM HANANEL
The Associated Press
Monday, November 15, 2010; 2:39 AM
WASHINGTON -- Judges who hear Social Security disability cases are facing a growing number of violent threats from claimants angry over being denied benefits or frustrated at lengthy delays in processing claims.
There were at least 80 threats to kill or harm administrative law judges or staff over the past year - an 18 percent increase over the previous reporting period, according to data collected by the Social Security Administration.
The data was released to the Association of Administrative Law Judges and made available to The Associated Press.
One claimant in Albuquerque, N.M., called his congressman's office to say he was going to "take his guns and shoot employees" in the Social Security hearing office. In Eugene, Ore., a man who was denied benefits said he is "ready to join the Taliban and hurt some people." Another claimant denied benefits told a judge in Greenville, S.C., that he was a sniper in the military and "would go take care of the problem."
"I'm not sure the number is as significant as the kind of threats being made," said Randall Frye, a judge based in Charlotte, N.C., and the president of the judges' union. "There seem to be more threats of serious bodily harm, not only to the judge but to the judge's family."
Fifty of the incidents came between March and August, including that of a Pittsburgh claimant who threatened to kill herself outside the hearing office or fly a plane into the building like a disgruntled tax protester did earlier this year at the Internal Revenue Service building in Austin, Texas.
A Senate subcommittee is expected to hear testimony on Monday at a field hearing in Akron, Ohio, about the rising number of threats, as well as the status of the massive backlog in applications for disability benefits, which are available to people who can't work because of medical problems.
Nearly 2 million people are waiting to find out if they qualify for benefits, with many having to wait more than two years to see their first payment.”