Anyone who has been paying attention to the Social Security Administration’s rate of approval over the past year can tell you that it has slowed down in a very purposeful way.
At the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates Ltd., we have certainly noticed that there are fewer cases being approved. It is harder than ever for our clients, no matter how strong a case they have or how in need of help they are, to gain disability benefits from the SSA.
Sara Blahovec wrote in a blog post on Huffington Post that this slowdown may, at least in part, be due to the disability rights movement stagnating.
“Worldwide, barriers to inclusivity for people with disabilities continue to be significant,” she wrote, adding that issues of race and gender gain the public’s attention, while disability and health do not. “While various organizations work tirelessly to promote equal rights, disability rights just don’t seem to be captivating the public in the same way.”
One reason, according to Blahovec, may be the fear of increased discrimination. People with disabilities, especially mental health illnesses, are not easily identifiable. They are told to hide their disabilities and “act normal.”
This may be harmful when it comes time to get help, as many people see a person who appears “normal” and do not think much more deeply about it.
“This incentivizes hiding disability status, and so many people are afraid of speaking up because they feel that they will fare better and experience less discrimination,” Blahovec wrote on The Huffington Post’s website.
All across the cadre of judges, the favorable decision are fewer and further between. When favorable, more often than not, the decision less than fully favorable.
In our opinion, this conduct is intentional and widespread. Additionally, it is taking far longer than ever before to have cases progress through the appeals system to be in a position for claimants to receive a decision. This is the SSA’s dirty little secret that no one is publicly talking about. They are attempting to save the system money through artificially reducing the number of claimants approved for benefits.
Congress should investigate this problem and take action to correct it before even more citizens are denied their rightful benefits.