San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) June 26, 2014
Heard & Smith, a national disability law firm that concentrates on the disabled and the injured, is commenting on the Senate hearing that was held on June 18, 2014 Senate Special Committee on Aging, which criticized the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) decision to close a record number of field offices in an effort to get more people – most of whom are seniors – to seek help online instead vs. in-person or via phone.
The new Senate report highlights that since 2010 the SSA has shuttered 64 field offices – the most it has closed in a 5-year period in its entire history – and closed 533 temporary offices that served remote areas. At the same time, due to cutbacks in service hours among its 1,245 remaining field offices, individuals are waiting up to three weeks just to get an appointment, while those who phone in are waiting on average 17 minutes for their call to be answered by an SSA staffer.
“It’s one thing for a retailer to decide that it can lower costs by shifting its resources from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping, but we’re not talking about a retailer here -- we’re talking about a major government agency that millions of people rely on each year; most of whom are desperate American workers,” commented Joshua C. Eyestone, an experienced SSD lawyer in Heard & Smith’s Social Security Disability practice group. “While it’s understandable that the SSA wants to save money, this simply isn’t the way to do it. It’s causing unfair hardships to disabled individuals and seniors who don’t just deserve prompt and reliable service, but are lawfully entitled to it after years of paying into the system.”
As for what those applying for SSD benefits can do while the SSA digests the new Senate report and considers implementing the recommended improvements, Mr. Eyestone’s advice is clear: get expert help.
“Just as people wisely consult a doctor rather than self-medicate and risk doing serious, possibly irreversible harm to themselves, those applying for SSD benefits should consult with an experienced attorney who will provide them with a clear, accurate roadmap of what lies ahead. Many applicants don’t realize that their hearing is often the best chance they’ll ever have to convince the agency that they’re entitled to benefits. If they don’t have the information and documents they need to prove their claim, or aren’t prepared for the questions they’ll be asked, then they can find themselves denied and forced to appeal – which is costly, time consuming, and risky.”
SSD applicants who want to learn more about the danger of handling their social security disability case without an expert can read an important article at the Heard & Smith Website: http://www.heardandsmith.com/articles_danger.html
For more information, contact Joshua C. Eyestone at jeyestone(at)heardandsmith(dot)com or 210-820-3737.
About Heard & Smith L.L.P.
Heard & Smith helps thousands of clients each year get the disability benefits they are entitled to. The national disability law practice group at Heard & Smith represents deserving clients in all 50 states. Heard & Smith specializes in representing the disabled in Social Security Disability (SSD), and Veterans (VA) Disability matters.
Learn more at http://www.heardandsmith.com/