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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

California DDS: Under Investigation

Early this year, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that thousands of public servants would be furloughed two Fridays a month. The furloughs were a cost cutting measure aimed at saving $1 billion.

Some states that adopted the furlough program exempted Disability Determination Services (DDS) employees. However, the governor announced that there would be no exemptions.

Further, California DDS had also implemented the requirement that disability applicants must furnish a 25-page report within 20 days.

True enough, Patrick P. O’Carroll, Social Security Administration Inspector General received a memo from Commissioner Michael J. Astrue. Commissioner Astrue instructed O’Carroll to investigate furloughing of California DDS employees despite the fact that their salaries and overhead were federally funded.

Congressman Robert Filner testified that one DDS office had closed 30 percent of its cases due to applicant’s failure to comply with the reportorial requirement. He added that California may have been manipulating its service numbers by assigning claims to fictional examiners or supervisors. Consequently, DDS could hide the fact that these cases were not being reviewed.

Commissioner Astrue was also concerned that the state of Hawaii DDS would follow the footsteps of California DDS.

There is nothing wrong with saving on costs or expenses so long as it is within the bounds of law or policies or rules of the Social Security Administration. If you were one of those denied, a disability claims lawyer can assist you with your dilemma.