Make your Voice Heard on SSDI for Lymphedema

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Make your Voice Heard on SSDI for Lymphedema

Postby patoco » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:15 am

Advisory From The Committee On Ways And Means
Subcommittee on Social Security

For Immediate Release

February 07, 2007
SS-1 CONTACT: (202) 225-9263

Subcommittee on Social Security Chairman McNulty Announces a
Hearing on Social Security Disability Backlogs Congressman Michael
R. McNulty (D-NY), Chairman, Subcommittee on Social Security of
the Committee on Ways and Means, today announced that the
Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the Social Security
Administration (SSA) disability claims backlogs. The hearing will
take place on:

Wednesday, February 14, 2007, in room B-318 Rayburn
House Office Building, beginning at 2:00 p.m.

In view of the limited time available to hear witnesses, oral
testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only.
However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral
appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the
Subcommittee and for inclusion in the printed record of the


The workload of SSA has grown significantly in recent years due to
the aging of the population and new workloads such as those
resulting from the Medicare Modernization Act (P.L. 108-173) and
the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (P.L. 108-
458). However, due to funding constraints affecting SSA's
administrative budget, these increasing workloads are not being
effectively addressed. The agency has done much to employ scarce
resources efficiently, re-engineering work processes and
increasing overall productivity by more than 13 percent from 2001
to 2006. Even with these improvements, however, there is a growing
concern about the effect of staffing declines and other resource
shortages on service delivery to the American public.

Nowhere is the situation more grave than in the processing of
applications for disability benefits. Due to large and increasing
backlogs, severely disabled individuals can wait years to get the
benefits they need for basic economic survival. At the end of
fiscal year 2006, about 1.3 million people were awaiting a
decision on their initial claim or appeal for Social Security or
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits.

The President's FY 2008 budget request would provide a modest
funding increase. However, given rising fixed costs and other
factors, this would not be sufficient to maintain current staffing
levels, which had already declined by 8 percent from FY 2006 to FY
2007. Thus, the disability backlog is projected to increase under
the President's FY 2008 budget to almost 1.4 million cases.

This hearing will focus on the disability claims backlog,
including how the delays impact individuals who have applied for
disability benefits; the effect on other critical agency workloads, including
program integrity activities; steps SSA has taken to date to
resolve the backlogs; and options for addressing the problem.

In announcing the hearing, Chairman McNulty said, "The current
delays in receiving disability benefits are completely
unacceptable. Americans who have worked hard and paid into the
system should not have to wait for years to get benefits they have
earned and desperately need. SSA must have sufficient resources to
give the American people the service they deserve."

Source: The Committee on Ways And Means

Robert Weiss, M.S.
Lymphedema Treatment Advocate


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