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NEWS
August 20, 1995
What a backlog: The Social Security Administration has 1.2 million disability applications piled up and 1.5 million cases awaiting reviews to see if the beneficiaries are still too disabled to work. Final decisions on applications could take two years; clearing up case reviews could take five years.It is a system crying for reform. Republican Rep. Jim Bunning, whose subcommittee held hearings this month, plans legislation to speed handling of cases. It can't come soon enough.Simply catching up on the case reviews could save $1.7 billion, according to the General Accounting Office.
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NEWS
By Amanda Frost | June 13, 2014
On Monday, the Supreme Court dashed the hopes of noncitizen children who had already waited years for visas to come to the United States with their families. Federal law allows immigrants to bring their unmarried, minor children with them to the U.S., but those same laws put strict annual quotas on visas, forcing applicants to wait years for a visa to become available. If the children turn 21 years old during that waiting period, they must be left behind. In its decision in Mayorkas v. Cuellar de Osorio, the high court held that these older children must get in the back of a new line and start the visa petition process all over again, denying them credit for the years they have already spent waiting.
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HEALTH
By Larry Carson | larry.carson@baltsun.com | December 12, 2009
A growing backlog of requests for state medical assistance has Maryland's nursing homes picking up the tab for millions of dollars and patients facing months of uncertainty over the status of their claims. In one case, an Ellicott City nursing home did not receive a payment for a 59-year-old patient with debilitating multiple sclerosis for about a year, between December 2008 and last month. During that time, the patient, Barbara Sherman, her husband, Winston, and their elder-care lawyer repeatedly called and wrote the state Department of Human Resources.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2014
The Social Security Administration will transfer more than 15 percent of its disability appeals cases from its Baltimore office to other cities in an effort to relieve what has become the third-worst processing delay in the nation, the agency said Friday. About 1,800 disability appeals cases from Central Maryland will now be heard by administrative law judges in Virginia, easing a backlog in Baltimore that has required claimants to wait 17 months on average to have their cases considered.
NEWS
September 19, 2013
The easiest place to throw the blame regarding the backlog of gun background checks is on the Maryland State Police (" Critics say state police have risked gun buyers' privacy," Sept. 16). But, in fact, it just highlights your ignorance on the matter. The police are a state entity under the control of Gov. Martin O'Malley. They, like another other department, have a budget that has to be submitted and approved. Perhaps you didn't stop and consider that they were not given the resources to tackle such a problem.
HEALTH
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | April 30, 2013
The O'Malley administration has settled a class action lawsuit brought by critics who accused the state of failing low-income and disabled Marylanders by regularly taking nearly a year to approve medical assistance applications as part of a severe backlog. The settlement means the Maryland Department of Human Resources will process claims faster and work to eliminate a backlog of more than 9,000 delayed cases, according to the Public Justice Center, the Homeless Persons Representation Project and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, the organizations that filed suit.
NEWS
September 25, 2010
The problem: A temporarily patched hole in Lauraville grows larger as time passes. The back story: After at least six calls to 311 within five months about a hole that opened near a storm drain in the 2600 block of Goodwood Road, Anna L. Brown was fed up. A small gap appeared between the concrete alley and the road in the spring, and Brown saw it every day as she drove down the residential street leading out of her neighborhood....
NEWS
March 16, 2010
Your article of March 15, "State further behind handling food stamps, medical benefits" does not convey the sense of urgency the Department of Human Resources has placed on processing applications and eliminating backlogs or the progress we have made as a result. We have always been forthcoming with our efforts to address what we consider a major issue for those who depend on food stamp and medical assistance support. Long before the December 10, 2009 ruling by Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams, the department had developed and begun implementing a plan to move us in the right direction.
NEWS
June 10, 2013
When government is given a job to do in seven days and it takes 10 weeks instead, anger and frustration is likely to be heard. Such is the case with the background checks for gun purchases. The Maryland State Police has a backlog, and gun dealers and purchasers alike aren't happy about waiting 10 times longer than intended. But let's also keep the problem in perspective. This clearly isn't an effort to deliberately inconvenience gun purchasers. State police are simply swamped with applications - the equivalent of four years of applications were received in the last four months.
NEWS
By Matthew Hay Brown and WASHINGTON | June 18, 2013
WASHINGTON - The Senate Appropriations Committee will consider a 10-point plan this week to address the claims backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski said Tuesday. “When our veterans return from war, they shouldn't have to face a quagmire of bureaucracy in getting their claims processed,” the Maryland Democrat said in a statement. “The Appropriations Committee will keep fighting the red tape across all the agencies responsible for our veterans because our wounded warriors can't wait.” The appropriations subcommittee on military construction and VA appropriations included the 10-point plan Tuesday in its spending bill for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The legislation now goes to the full committee, which is scheduled to begin marking it up on Thursday.
NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
The Social Security Administration office that reviews claims for central Maryland has the third-longest delay in the nation, prompting Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger on Monday to call for the agency to craft a plan to address the problem. "Some have had to file for bankruptcy, some have lost their homes, some have even died before getting even a penny of the benefits they were entitled to," the Baltimore County Democrat said. Agency data show it takes an average of 17 months to get a hearing to review a disability denial in the Baltimore office, which covers reviews for much of the state.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
The Social Security Administration office that reviews disability claims for Central Maryland has the third-longest processing delay in the nation — a backlog that prompted a member of the state's congressional delegation on Monday to call for action. Disability claimants with appeals at the Baltimore office wait an average of 17 months for a hearing, agency data show. That's longer than in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and more than 150 other offices. In Chicago, by comparison, the average wait time is one year.
NEWS
May 27, 2014
I am a disabled veteran with some knowledge about the problems encountered by vets ( "VA's troubles deep-rooted," May 21). I know how they lose your application or deny your claims without any real care for the veteran. How they make it easier to walk away from VA services than fighting for your rights. How we are given appointment after appointment but the care, even if given, is just replicated discovery of the problem rather than ongoing treatment. Veterans travel many miles for care and pay $50 for the right to be seen only to have nothing done for them.
SPORTS
May 21, 2014
The recent revelations of continued problems at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - most associated with a backlog of disability claims - are a huge embarrassment for the Obama administration. The nation's veterans deserve better, and the possibility that the backlog may have contributed to preventable deaths is deeply saddening. The ongoing effort by the agency's inspector general to identify those VA employees who may have falsified records or encouraged "secret" waiting lists should be pursued with vigor.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | April 9, 2014
More than 300 people banned from owning guns were able to buy them last year because the state police were overwhelmed with background check requests, police said Wednesday. People with histories of mental illness or convictions for violent misdemeanors, felons and fugitives were able to obtain and keep guns for three months or longer before state police reviewed the sales, according to records released by request to The Baltimore Sun. Maryland State Police finally cleared the backlog of background-check requests last week that began more than a year ago and once stood at more than 60,000, leading to months-long delays in investigating thousands of firearm transactions.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | January 24, 2014
The Maryland Food Bank is requesting volunteers on weekdays to sort a backlog of donated food, the charity said Friday. More than half a million pounds of food - the equivalent of 17 tractor trailers worth of food - is sitting in the food bank warehouse at its headquarters in Baltimore County. The food is a mixed assortment from food drives and retail donations, and must be sorted and packed. Officials said the demand is so great that the food volunteers do pack is ordered by soup kitchens, pantries and other groups within 2 hours.
NEWS
By Brent Jones, The Baltimore Sun | July 18, 2010
Tira Jones can recognize desperation in a caller's tone. When she was an unemployed single mother in need of a financial boost, her voice used to sound the same way. Now, in her full-time job processing online applications for food stamps for the state of Maryland, she is willing to share her story with other families looking for assistance — and put them at ease. "I've learned to have patience in dealing with things because I have a lot of empathy for people," Jones said. "A lot of customers are scared to apply because they've never done it before, or [they think]
NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
The Social Security Administration office that reviews claims for central Maryland has the third-longest delay in the nation, prompting Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger on Monday to call for the agency to craft a plan to address the problem. "Some have had to file for bankruptcy, some have lost their homes, some have even died before getting even a penny of the benefits they were entitled to," the Baltimore County Democrat said. Agency data show it takes an average of 17 months to get a hearing to review a disability denial in the Baltimore office, which covers reviews for much of the state.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | January 11, 2014
More than 200 guns were sold to people legally barred from owning them as a surge in firearms sales last year overwhelmed Maryland's background check system, according to state police. One gun was sold to a man later accused of using it in a carjacking in Prince George's County, police acknowledged in response to queries from The Baltimore Sun. The sales occurred last year as part of a flurry before Maryland's tough new gun law - enacted following the school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | September 23, 2013
Marylanders have been rushing to buy guns at a rate of 1,000 a day over the past two weeks, hastening the pace of an unprecedented surge in gun sales. More than 102,000 gun purchase applications have been submitted so far this year - twice the number for all of 2011, state police said Monday. "It's like Prohibition," said Rick Kain, a gun owner from Howard County. "People want to get their guns before the law takes effect. " Maryland's tough new gun control law takes effect next week, banning the sale of assault-style rifles and requiring fingerprints and a license to buy a handgun.
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