A lawmaker wants to help the Social Security Administration take control of the Social Security Disability Insurance claim system in states that furlough SSDI employees.
Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services say they will be depending on state governments to help implement the health insurance distribution exchange provisions of the new Affordable Care Act, the ACA temporary risk pool provisions for people with health problems, and other ACA provisions.
The SSDI program is an example of an existing program that relies on cooperation between officials at an HHS arm – the Social Security Administration – and state governments.
The SSA covers the cost of paying the benefits, and it pays the cost of processing and reviewing claims.
The people who review the claims are state employees with salaries paid by the federal government, rather than federal employees.
That arrangement is leading to serious problems in some states, witnesses testified Tuesday at a House Ways and Means Committee Social Security subcommittee hearing.
Some states are coping with fiscal crises by laying off employees, or furloughing employees periodically without pay.
The SSA has persuaded officials in states such as Colorado, Michigan, Nevada and New York to exempt SSDI disability determination service employees from furlough programs, SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue testified.
Today, 16 other states – including states such as California, Hawaii, Ohio and Wisconsin — have implemented furloughs that affect DDS employees, Astrue said, according to a written version of his testimony posted on the Social Security subcommittee website.
California furloughs DDS employees 3 days each month.