Monday, August 28, 2017

New Bureaucratic Realignment at Social Security

Not even the most experienced Social Security Lawyers are able to comprehend what is going on with the latest plans to reorganize the Social Security Administration.  A few weeks ago, in the midst of an astronomical backlog of cases and rock bottom morale among her employees, Social Security Commissioner Nancy Berryhill announced a series of pointless bureaucratic changes aimed at creating a false illusion of progress.  

The changes create a series of new acronyms: The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) will now be the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO).  There will be a newly created office called the Office of Analytics, Review, and Oversight (OARO).  In addition to this new organizational changes, the Office of Budget, Finance, Quality, and Management will now be the Office of Budget, Finance, and Management (OBFM).  Thanks Commissioner for making the Social Security alphabet soup even thicker!  Just what more than one million disabled Americans, who are waiting for a hearing, needed.

Image result for alphabet soup

From what it seems so far, it looks like the hearing offices (ODAR which now will be OHO) will no longer be under the same umbrella as the Appeals Council (AC).  Exactly what effect this change will have in the appeals process is not yet clear.  We will keep you posted on what effect this changes will have as more details are revealed in the next few months.