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Investigation into Social Security Disability Case Delays Requested

October 06, 2011

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Republicans sent Social Security Administration (SSA) Inspector General Patrick O’Carroll a letter requesting an investigation into a report by the Wall Street Journal disclosing intentional agency delays in deciding thousands of disability claims. Due to a quirk in the fiscal year (FY) 2011 calendar, SSA employees’ inaction was reportedly intended to boost managers’ FY2012 performance numbers with no impact on their FY2011 numbers – raising questions if disability benefits were postponed for these managers’ personal financial gains.

In the letter the Republicans note that any intentional work slowdown is, “an abuse of the taxpayer dollars that support the program, a neglect of the Americans that depend on these critical benefits, and raises serious questions about those charged with leading this important program.”

The Republicans requested that Mr. O’Carroll investigate three specific items:

  1. Management oversight and controls at the hearing offices in the seven states identified in the article – Florida, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, and Arizona – and at the appropriate regional offices and ODAR headquarters.   
  2. What complaints were made and when about “blackout” directives, and whether leadership took any corrective action.   
  3. Whether there is any pattern among managers of instructing employees to manipulate workloads for personal gain.    

The full letter can be read here.