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Resource ID: #23946
Subject: Federal Government
Source: Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)
Affiliation: 
Date: 08/03/2008

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Description

A four-part, multi-article series examined the backlog of social security cases, particularly in the Portland, Ore. area. When presented with the findings, Social Security top official Commissioner Michael J. Astrue acknowledged the backlog of disability claims has gone "seriously in the wrong direction." The reporters found that most people who fight for Social Security benefits after being initially denied with their cases, but the average wait for a disability hearing was 512 days -- 669 days in the Portland office. The series highlighted that the system was particularly hard on veterans as well. Also, using internal Social Security figures, the reporters determined that the agency would pay about $9 billion in benefits to people who no longer deserved them. They later found that the real cost for the failure to review disability cases was between $10 and $11 billion.

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