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When I came to work Monday morning, my concerns with government shutdown were for my clients first. According to the news, Social Security payments would continue, but it didn’t say what would happen to the claimant’s who were still waiting for adjudication of their claims.
I checked the web and found this: Click Here, a contingency plan that outlines what Social Security will continue to do during the government shutdown.
I was relieved to see that many services at the field offices and state Disability Determination Services would continue. My clients would be able to receive their benefits, open new claims, and the processes for decision making at the initial and reconsideration levels would continue….WHEW!!!
It was obvious that the biggest hit would be felt at the ODAR’s (Social Security hearing offices). The cases were not going to be worked up for the judges, and there would no longer be decision writers preparing the written decisions. This would leave the judges to prepare the files for hearings and write all of their decisions as well as hear and decide the cases.
I have been very impressed with the work that continues to be done at the ODARs. In spite of a skeleton crew, the cases continue to be heard, and decisions continue to be written. I have a decision dated October 3, 2013, two days after the forloughs began. The judges are adapting to the deficiencies in staff with determination and good spirits.
I hope that the government shutdown ends soon so the many hard working Social Security employees that are forloughed can return to work. I know that there will be challenging weeks ahead catching up the work that has not been done in their absence.
Golson, McCracken Inc. - North Carolina Social Security Disability
207 Fieldale Road, Mebane, NC 27302
4208 Six Forks Road, Suite 1000, Raleigh, NC 27609 (Appt Only)
151 North Steele Street, Sanford, NC 27330 (Appt Only)
Direct Line: (919) 294-4171
Toll-Free: (888) 529-3678