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Report of the Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration

Published on May 7th, 2013

Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, the Honorable Carolyn Colvin, spoke at the May 2013 convention of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives in Washington, D.C. She emphasized that reducing the disability claim backlog remains a top priority. However, budget cuts have slowed the progress. New Requests for Hearing cases, which had elevated during the recession, were coming back to pre-recession levels.

Commissioner Colvin also responded to recent claims by politicians and the media as to purported fraud in the system. She emphasized that the agency works to prevent and decrease improper payments. Responding to critics, she noted that there was no evidence that the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is “ripe with fraud;” in fact, cases of fraud are very minimal.

The Commissioner also noted that she had reversed the policy of her predecessor as to disclosure of the name of a Judge assigned to a case. The Hearing Office policy for the better part of the prior year was to keep this information secret, available only through a request under the Freedom of Information Act. This policy has now ended as of April 2013. The Judge’s name is now available to the Claimant before the case is scheduled.

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