It makes sense. If you prohibit employees from working two days a month, productively will be lowered and claims will not be adjudicated. Now it is official. On March 27, 2009, the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General issued a report, Impact of State Employee Furloughs on the SSAS Disability Programs.
After an applicant applies for SSI or SSDI, the application is reviewed at the local field office and then sent to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) in the state. SSA reimburses DDS for 100% of allowable expenditures. To deal with budget deficits, California (and other states) have instituted furloughs for State employees, including staff at the DDS, even though they are 100% funded by SSA.
Beginning in January 2009 California began furloughing all state employees two days a month. This is going to continue until June 2010. Reviewing the number of claims processed in 2008 and comparing that number with the present number of claims, the Inspector General predicts that the furloughs will result in a 10% shortfall capacity in California. This percentage translates to a delay of about 2,375 cases every month.
Due to a variety of factors, the number of new cases being filed has increased. The increase in claims in combination with the delays from furloughs has resulted in a 9.7% increase in initial pending cases and a 16.1 increase in reconsideration claims pending at the California DDS offices.
I am experiencing these delays with cases that I have in my practice. The delays only make a long wait even longer. All in all, a very grim picture.