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Notable News on Social Security this week

March 20th, 2012 Ways & Means Testimony Re Social Security Disability decisions 

There was some interesting testimony and stats that came from the Ways and Means hearing held on Tuesday. I have quoted some below.

we estimate that as many as 60 percent of applicants could have received a different initial determination from at least one other examiner in the DDS office, had they been assigned to that examiner instead.”

At present, the variation in examiner allowance rates and the high probability of having an initial denial overturned on appeal means that it is usually worthwhile for denied applicants and their attorneys to pursue appeals. But the appeals process is costly—not just for the federal government but also for the individual applicants themselves.

For example, among new SSDI beneficiaries, we find that 63 percent of those with musculoskeletal impairments were awarded benefits at the appellate levels, compared to 39 percent of new beneficiaries with mental impairments—consequently, beneficiaries with musculoskeletal impairments spend significantly more time pursuing benefits than those with mental impairments.

Other testimony

The testimony above only supports what many Social Security representatives already know, decision at DDS is the luck of the draw, even more so than the judge you draw at hearing.

Posthumous children, Should those conceived after death receive Survivor benefits?

The US Supreme Court has heard argument this week regarding whether or not children, conceived via artificial insemination, after the father’s death, are deemed the father’s survivors for benefits under Social Security laws.