I have been a Claims Representative for SSA for over 34 years. I have processed and adjudicated literally thousands of Disability claims, and been part of every computer enhancement and streamlining of the claims process during that period.
Unfortunately, any enhancements necessary for our agency to handle the impending avalanche of Disability and Retirement claims from "Baby Boomers," is compromised by our massively time-consuming involvement with attorney-submitted claims, appeals and payments.
This is by no means a suggestion to eliminate the presence of representative in the claims and appeals process, rather to revise our curious and dysfunctional relationship with attorneys and disability representatives , where we currently act as their advocate, secretary, paralegal and bill collector.
The pitfalls inherent in this subservient relationship well exceed the 2000 characters allowed for this suggestion but is available upon request.
There simply is no other arrangement in this government where such an intensive uses of manpower are employed to ensure the ease and financial security of so few, and such little effort by those few to warrant such attention.
While every claimant is the due the representative of their choice, I cannot envision that the intent of any federal or SSA statute was to create such a pervasive, parasitic and predatory relationship as exists now.
I would suggest that SSA convene a task force immediately with the sole purpose of developing processes to minimize the attorney’s dealings with this agency, as well as the eliminating the guaranteed payments to the representative in the case of a disability allowance, to the extent that the law allows.
I have made this suggestion before and in the ensuing year the situation has worsened, with the maintenance of the various attorney inputs and protocols the responsibility of SSA CRs whose talents could be better better employed
Claims rep. Queensbury SSA