The Social Security Administration: A Huge Bureaucracy

One of the primary problems commonly associated with attempting to deal with an organization like the Social Security Administration is its size. The Social Security Administration has over 57,000 employees, along with a separate Office of Disability Adjudication and Review that has approximately 8,000 staff members (which includes about 1,300 administrative law judges and 34 administrative appeals judges). Nationwide, there are over 14,000 state agency employees under the administrative law judge hearing level who are involved in making disability determinations.

That said, it can be quite difficult for even a lawyer to determine who needs to be contacted regarding a claimant’s particular issue. Attempting to do so, on your own, can be quite an undertaking. Thus, before trying to go at it alone, you may want to consider hiring a well-informed Columbus disability lawyer to help you maneuver through the system.

The problem of the Social Security Administration’s size is further aggravated by the complex nature of its programs, the most complicated of which are the Social Security disability program and the SSI program. For example, an examination that asked agents of the Social Security Administration’s nationwide toll-free telephone number showed elicited 25% wrong answers to questions involving SSI. Typically, the toll-free number is most helpful for providing information about the retirement program, not for answering questions about a person’s entitlement to disability benefits.

As is normally the case with large governmental bodies, the Social Security Administration has tried to establish a routine for making difficult decisions; however, this has proven to be a bit ineffective for disability determinations that are made below the administrative law judge hearing level, because the medical-vocational issues involved are usually more complex and state agencies are clearly not prepared to handle these types of issues. As such, disability determinations continue to be inadequate. Many employees within the Social Security Administration remain ignorant of the decision-making shortcomings of the state agency.

Furthermore, there is also the bothersome problem of low-level bureaucrats who are inclined to follow the rules to the letter, regardless of whether the application of those rules makes sense or not. These types of people can prove to be quite difficult to work with when trying to seek answers and solutions regarding a claimant’s case.

If you need a qualified Columbus disability lawyer, please call Eric A. Jones for a free consultation.