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NEWS
January 25, 1995
Anyone who thought it would be easy to truly reform welfare -- or even to root out the old devils of waste, fraud and abuse -- has surely been chastened by The Sun's illuminating four-day series on the Social Security Administration's disability programs, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Disability Insurance (DI).Entire families who earn a comfortable livelihood by simply remaining nonproductive; children who are scolded for achieving at school because it would endanger their disability payments; addicts whose skids into the gutter are greased by government checks; immigrants who are systematically coached to lie to the government so they can get a monthly handout -- these and other horror stories chronicled by reporters John B. O'Donnell and Jim Haner cannot be blamed solely on criminal minds determined to bilk the taxpayers.
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NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2013
A senior official of the American Legion, working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to reduce its disability claims backlog, told Congress her organization had encountered an "obstructionist attitude" in the VA's underperforming Baltimore office. Verna Jones, director of the Legion's Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Division, told a House subcommittee this week that VA officials in Baltimore were "aggressively excluding" Maryland servicemen and -women from a program that was designed to fast-track their claims.
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NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and John B. O'Donnell,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | January 26, 1996
WASHINGTON -- Congress was urged yesterday to increase aid to the disabled by billions of dollars even though the Republican majority has been moving to scale back disability programs run by the Social Security Administration.The call for more assistance came from a panel of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a think tank headed by former Social Security Commissioner Robert M. Ball. The new or expanded benefits would cost more than $17 billion over five years.Aimed at encouraging the disabled to work, the proposals include a new tax credit for the disabled working poor, vouchers so recipients can purchase vocational rehabilitation services from private vendors, and a 44 percent increase -- from $500 to $720 a month -- in the amount some recipients can earn without losing benefits.
NEWS
March 8, 2013
As someone who has made a career advocating on behalf of those that depend on Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits, I was disheartened to read Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s column, "Disability insurance entitlement explodes under Obama" (March 3). The percentage increase in people on Social Security disability in recent years was expected, due to the aging Baby Boomers, half of whom are now reaching "high disability years. " Additionally, there has been an increase of women in the workforce in recent decades, women who are now eligible to draw on their own earnings record when they become disabled.
NEWS
By Nelson Schwartz and Nelson Schwartz,Contributing Writer | April 1, 1994
WASHINGTON -- In an effort to improve a system that can leave the disabled waiting years for benefits, the Social Security Administration unveiled a plan yesterday that it hopes will provide help within six weeks of when people apply.Under the new blueprint, applicants could sit down and discuss their cases with Social Security officials before decisions were made -- a sharp change from the way the system works today.The Woodlawn-based agency's management of the nation's $40 billion disability programs has faced sharp attacks on Capitol Hill and elsewhere in recent years.
NEWS
By JOHN B. O'DONNELL | January 29, 1995
As Congress draws a bead on its out-of-control disability programs, Social Security finds itself on the sidelines, not even invited to testify at hearings called by Republicans bent on fixing problems and cutting costs.A series of articles in The Sun last week showed the programs are replete with problems, some the creation of Social Security, some the creation of Congress. Disability aid is a $65 billion colossus that House Republicans are determined to "reform" and cut. They held the first of three hearings Friday in Washington.
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and John B. O'Donnell,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | March 22, 1996
WASHINGTON -- Heightening the prospects that the government's burgeoning disability programs will be scaled back, President Clinton has proposed changes that would slow their growth and reduce the rolls by hundreds of thousands of people.The federal government could save up to $15 billion over five years under proposals Mr. Clinton has made and under Republican proposals that he is considered likely to accept.If adopted, the proposals would bring about the sharpest cuts in the history of the two disability programs run by the Woodlawn-based Social Security Administration.
NEWS
January 25, 1995
Year by year, the costs in billions of Social Security's disability programs have risen. Here is a time line of the events and decisions1969President Nixon asks Congress to show compassion for the poor, elderly and disabled by passing a new welfare plan. Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman records in his diary that Nixon doesn't really support his own proposal. Instead, it is a political ploy to win support from black leaders and senior citizens, while dividing the Democrat-controlled Congress.1972Congress kills Nixon's welfare plan for families, but passes crucial 16 pages that create a broad cash assistance program for the elderly and disabled poor who can't work.
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and Jim Haner and John B. O'Donnell and Jim Haner,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | September 22, 1995
WASHINGTON -- Senate passage of welfare legislation this week virtually assures that eligibility in a Social Security program for the disabled poor will be tightened and that nearly 1 million recipients will be dropped.Responding to complaints of abuse and lax administration in the burgeoning Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, the House and Senate wrote sweeping revisions into their welfare bills.Because most SSI provisions in the two bills are similar, the final legislation approved by House and Senate negotiators will likely include them, saving at least $27 billion over seven years.
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and John B. O'Donnell,Washington Bureau of The Sun | March 11, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Given an extra $200 million last year by Congress to cope with growing problems in its disability programs, the Social Security Administration instead used much the money to finance employee pay raises, an agency official told Congress yesterday.The alternative would have been layoffs, said Lawrence H. Thompson, the agency's principal deputy commissioner, who was criticized sharply for the decision at a congressional hearing.He blamed Congress, saying it required federal agencies to grant the raises but did not provide the money to pay for them.
NEWS
By Rachel D. Mansour and Rachel D. Mansour,CONTRIBUTING WRITER | December 7, 1999
Most people want a shot at the American dream of owning a home, but dependency, discrimination and a shortage of housing stand in the way of people with mental and developmental disabilities.The dream could come true soon for disabled county residents and their families, however, as local and state governments, nonprofit organizations and private industry team up to find solutions.Yesterday, the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation; Arc of Anne Arundel County Inc., a nonprofit organization that supports the mentally retarded; and Fannie Mae, the nation's largest source of home mortgage financing, began Opening Doors -- A Home of Your Own, an initiative aimed at providing disabled county residents with options to buy or rent homes.
NEWS
By Lourdes Sullivan and Lourdes Sullivan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 12, 1999
BOLLMAN BRIDGE Elementary School held a disability awareness day yesterday.Members of dAp -- the disAbility Awareness project -- were on hand to discuss and show how physical challenges can be met.There were wheelchair basketball games with Bill Demby, Larry Hughes and Andy Tacka, who demonstrated how to play using their wheelchairs.Fidos for Freedom, an organization that trains dogs to serve the deaf and disabled, showed what their dogs can do, including alerting hearing-impaired people to fires and other hazards.
NEWS
March 19, 1997
WHEN THE WESTMINSTER Volunteer Fire Department finally breaks ground for its new home on Winters Alley this spring, it will be a result of several fortuitous maneuvers that have turned out well for the public interest.The latest change is a planned swap of land with the city of Westminster that will provide access to John Street for the fire department's large engines and ladder truck. The narrow passage along the alley was a major problem in designing a new firehouse at the new location.
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and John B. O'Donnell,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | March 22, 1996
WASHINGTON -- Heightening the prospects that the government's burgeoning disability programs will be scaled back, President Clinton has proposed changes that would slow their growth and reduce the rolls by hundreds of thousands of people.The federal government could save up to $15 billion over five years under proposals Mr. Clinton has made and under Republican proposals that he is considered likely to accept.If adopted, the proposals would bring about the sharpest cuts in the history of the two disability programs run by the Woodlawn-based Social Security Administration.
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and John B. O'Donnell,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | February 29, 1996
WASHINGTON -- A small but growing Social Security Administration effort to encourage recipients of one of its disability programs to go to work is poorly run and subject to abuse, according to congressional investigators.The agency "has done a poor job of implementing and managing" the program, which costs $30 million a year, and has given its staff few criteria and little training for running it, said the General Accounting Office in a report delivered to Congress yesterday.The GAO also said the program lacked clear goals and sufficient information to monitor its effectiveness.
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and John B. O'Donnell,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | January 26, 1996
WASHINGTON -- Congress was urged yesterday to increase aid to the disabled by billions of dollars even though the Republican majority has been moving to scale back disability programs run by the Social Security Administration.The call for more assistance came from a panel of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a think tank headed by former Social Security Commissioner Robert M. Ball. The new or expanded benefits would cost more than $17 billion over five years.Aimed at encouraging the disabled to work, the proposals include a new tax credit for the disabled working poor, vouchers so recipients can purchase vocational rehabilitation services from private vendors, and a 44 percent increase -- from $500 to $720 a month -- in the amount some recipients can earn without losing benefits.
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and John B. O'Donnell,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | February 29, 1996
WASHINGTON -- A small but growing Social Security Administration effort to encourage recipients of one of its disability programs to go to work is poorly run and subject to abuse, according to congressional investigators.The agency "has done a poor job of implementing and managing" the program, which costs $30 million a year, and has given its staff few criteria and little training for running it, said the General Accounting Office in a report delivered to Congress yesterday.The GAO also said the program lacked clear goals and sufficient information to monitor its effectiveness.
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and John B. O'Donnell,Washington Bureau of The Sun | March 22, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Last April, Vivian Walch, a former token clerk for the New York subway system, applied for Social Security disability payments, saying a bad back had forced her to retire early.Seven months later -- after being turned down and asking for reconsideration of the decision -- Ms. Walch received a letter that included someone else's Social Security number and denied her benefits. Apparently referring to another person, the letter concluded that a "breathing problem" should not prevent Ms. Walch from doing her job as a "nursing supervisor."
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and Jim Haner and John B. O'Donnell and Jim Haner,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | September 22, 1995
WASHINGTON -- Senate passage of welfare legislation this week virtually assures that eligibility in a Social Security program for the disabled poor will be tightened and that nearly 1 million recipients will be dropped.Responding to complaints of abuse and lax administration in the burgeoning Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, the House and Senate wrote sweeping revisions into their welfare bills.Because most SSI provisions in the two bills are similar, the final legislation approved by House and Senate negotiators will likely include them, saving at least $27 billion over seven years.
NEWS
By James Bock and James Bock,Sun Staff Writer | July 26, 1995
The first reviews are in about the state's scaled-down program for the disabled poor, and they are thumbs down.Four participants in the program told state officials yesterday that -- despite Gov. Parris N. Glendening's pledge that budget cuts wouldn't increase homelessness -- they had lost their homes or were about to."I'm homeless now. I got put out," Theodore Wilson, 57, told Lynda Fox, deputy secretary of human resources, in a Baltimore meeting set up by advocates for the homeless.Mr. Wilson, a former assembly line worker who said he is disabled by high blood pressure and other ailments, said he lost his $175-a-month room in West Baltimore.
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