Social security: The Monster We Hate, or The Teddy Bear We Love?

By Brandon Smith

Perhaps it’s a combination of the two. For most of us with disabilities, I suspect this is the case.

Whether you are on Social Security Insurance (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), I am sure you have felt a conflict of emotions. We benefit from having the extra money for those extra necessities, but we loath having to constantly fear what this agency will do next. Will they send me a letter today, telling me that I have been overpaid? Or, will I get the pleasant surprise I have been underpaid, and I can expect a nice, juicy lump sum coming my way soon. Even if the latter is the case, often that isn’t the end of the story. The saga continues when that decision is reversed, and the recipient is notified that he/she owes the agency money for being overpaid.

One issue with the Social Security Administration is it is not as centralized as people would think. The system appears to operate on a coding structure. The issue with this is there is a national code, and a code for each local office. Individuals have had situations where they are identified as blind by the national office, but not at the local level. Obviously, this can create confusion.