Cystic Fibrosis and Multiple Sclerosis

February 6, 2019

From Charles Hall’s Blog.  Charles Hall is an attorney who keeps up with issues affecting the Social Security Administration and individuals applying for or receiving benefits due to disabilities.  I’m not really thrilled with what he is discussing below:

CBS reports on Social Security cutting off disability benefits to one young woman suffering from cystic fibrosis. Note that people involved in helping those with cystic fibrosis report that this is not an isolated case, that they’ve seen many similar cases lately.

I’ve seen this sort of thing many times over the years. Suddenly, I start seeing a run of clients with a particular disorder. I can remember seeing cystic fibrosis cases quite a few years ago but not recently. Mostly, what I see now is multiple sclerosis cases. It’s not that there are suddenly more people with cystic fibrosis or multiple sclerosis. It’s that Social Security has suddenly started turning down or cutting off disability benefits to people suffering from these disorders. There’s been no announcement, no public discussion of the change. The decision is made in private and almost certainly doesn’t involve really high-level people. Congress isn’t consulted. It’s never written down.  It’s all done through QA, Quality Assurance. Suddenly, whenever Disability Determination tries to put a claimant on benefits for a particular medical problem, the case gets sent back. Perhaps, since this case is a termination, Social Security has decided, ultra quietly, to target people with cystic fibrosis who are already on benefits for full medical reviews. Once the personnel involved in making disability determinations receive a few such cases back and notice the targeting of those already on benefits they get the picture and start denying the claims and cutting off benefits. Social Security doesn’t have to take responsibility for what it’s doing because it’s all hidden away in individual claimant files which are not available to the public.

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