Causes of the Disparities in the Disability Benefits System Essay

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We have all experienced a day when physical or mental exhaustion has seemed to consume the whole of our body, making us feel incapable of performing simple activities such as getting out of bed, taking a shower, etc. Now, imagine being forced to cope with this on a daily basis. Millions of Americans suffer disabilities, both physical as well as mental that prevent them from performing normal day-to-day activities, one of which includes working. “The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines disability in terms of ability to work,” so why has there been an increasing amount of individuals denied disability benefits without personally meeting with an examiner. This along with the fact that there is a steady 2.5 million new applications…show more content…
“The purpose of the Disability Insurance (DI) program is to replace part of a worker’s earnings in the eventuality of a physical or mental impairment preventing the individual from working,” given that the “definition” of disability is met. These factors play an essential role in disagreement among judges, which ultimately results in direct denial of a claim (“Outcome Variation”). With an increase in the number of cases filed each year, there has been much effort to speed-up wait times and to avoid a rise in hearing backlogs. The average amount of time it takes for a disability determination hearing to be processed is approximately two years. This delineates an understandable cause of acrimony among disability claimants. The immediate effect of an attempt to expedite the hearing process includes little attention paid to ensuring the quality of a decision (“Improvement in Social Security”). Along with attempts to expedite a processing, racial disparity has proven to be intrinsic within the SSA disability program. A statistical analysis constructed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 1992 intending to address the issue, revealed that racial differences, particularly at the appellate level were unable to be entirely
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