Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Dallas Morning News gives attention to Social Security crisis

The Dallas Morning News wrote April 6 about the ongoing crisis of delays for people awaiting their Social Security disability payments.

"More than 2.5 million Americans file disability claims with Social Security each year and then wait," the article says. "Unable to work, many are already teetering on the edge of financial ruin. The delays in processing their claims exhaust their savings, drive them deep into debt and sometimes deny them the health care they need."

"Nationally, the average wait for a judge's decision has stretched to 502 days this year, compared with 258 in 2000," according to The Morning News. "At some hearing offices, the average wait approaches 800 days. In North Texas, claimants wait an average of 461 days at the North Dallas office, 453 days at the downtown office and 411 days in Fort Worth."

From a sourcing standpoint, I am pleased to see the newspaper talking to disability groups and disabled people about this issue.

Andrew Imparato, president of the American Association of People with Disabilities, said in the article "he'd welcome the additional funds, but he's not sure they're enough. The longer-term solution, he said, is to overhaul Social Security's disability insurance and transform it from a system of first resort into one of last resort."

"Let's stop asking people, 'Can you prove you can't work?' Instead, let's ask them what kind of support they need to continue contributing to the best of their ability," Imparato said. "Given our aging population, I don't see how we can afford to do anything less."