There have been many failures of the current SSA under the direction of Commissioner Andrew Saul. The cessation of benefits to thousands of recipients because of the criminal actions of Eric Conn was an issue inherited by Commissioner Saul, but he has been slow to rectify it. SSA has now rolled out a new rule that negatively affects its own employees. SSA is ending the telework program which allows its employees to have days that they can work from home. Studies have shown that this program has increased employee productivity.
Why would SSA end a program that its employees like and that makes them more productive? SSA is already experiencing a backlog and this decision may make matters worse. On top of that, SSA has given the teleworking employees just 20 days to adjust to a new schedule that will require them to come in to the office. That may mean finding alternative modes of child care and elder care as well as finding transportation. All of these can turn into a burden on the employees and may end up being counterproductive.
The decisions that have been made by this administration have been less than favorable for social security claimants as well as the employees. A letter was sent to SSA disapproving of the decision to end the program signed by 34 U.S. Senators. However, some of those same senators voted in Commissioner Saul to be head of the administration. Apparently, that was not the best decision on their part.
What does this mean for those who need to file for disability benefits? It could mean that a long process can be made worse and take longer for claimants to apply, receive a decision, and receive payments. Hopefully with this letter SSA will reconsider its decision as well as improve its review process.