In past blog entries, I have talked about the unbearably long time it takes to get a hearing scheduled during the appeals process in Alabama. As it turns out, we have it relatively good compared to some Social Security Administration (SSA) disability claimants in some other states, for example, Wisconsin.
So egregious were the delays in claimants getting a hearing date set at the Milwaukee Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) that Ronald Klym, a sixteen-year senior technician in the office, blew the whistle last spring.
Apparently, according to a statistical report produced by WisconsinWatchdog.org, the time it took from requesting a hearing to actually getting one had ballooned to an average of 601 days.
Let me repeat that – 601 days was the average waiting time. Several claims took over 1000 days to schedule according to the group!
Compare that to Alabama’s 510 days and things look a little better. Yes, it is only a little, but every little bit counts when you are disabled and struggling to keep your head above water.
So the Milwaukee ODAR is a quagmire and Klym called it on it. Milwaukee ODAR’s ultimate response? It suspended then fired him, of course. He is currently unemployed, the ODAR in question is being investigated by the SSA’s Inspector General and, as far as I can tell, nothing has changed at the office since Klym took his stand. The bottom line, I guess, is that things could be worse for us here in Alabama than they are.
Also, for what it’s worth, I am still keeping tabs on the Eric Conn case up in Kentucky that I blogged about previously. He was fined $1000 last month for not responding to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky’s query about whether or not he has malpractice insurance. He has several administrative hearings set for this year and next but apparently no exact date has been set for his and his alleged co-conspirators’ trial.
James Ezzell is an attorney at the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Huntsville, Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama, and a Juris Doctorate from the Mississippi College School of Law. James prides himself in working and winning SSA Disability cases for people truly in need of his help. Read his full bio here.