In an effort to trim budgets, many states are furloughing workers; forcing them to take unpaid time off. Ohio is one of several states furloughing Social Security Administration employees. By doing this, there are fewer workers processing disability claims. This means that the disability process takes longer for everyone who is unable to work and in need of benefits.
The Commissioner of Social Security, Michael Astrue, has said that he thinks furloughing SSA employees is a bad practice. Why? Because the salaries of those furloughed SSA employees are fully funded by the federal government. So states are not saving the money they think they are by forcing those employees to take unpaid time off. Instead, they are forcing employees to process more claims with fewer hours. The result is that it takes longer for all claims to be processed, which increases the time you spend waiting for a hearing.
So what is the solution? Commissioner Astrue is proposing legislation in Congress which would prohibit the furlough of federally funded employees by the states. While the passage of this law will not, by itself, solve the problem of the backlog, hopefully it will help in states like Ohio, which has one of the longest wait times in the country.
The attorneys at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer are able to help you with your disability case regardless of where you are at in the process. If you have a disability case and you have any questions, please call us. We can help.