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Social Security Disability Claim Processing Stalled to Give Bonuses to DDS Managers

For millions who are waiting for months, or is some cases even years, to have their Social Security disability claims processed, it may come as a bit of a bitter pill to hear recent reports of disability claim processing being stalled to increase next year’s bonuses (often, quite substantial bonuses) to managers at the Disability Determination Services (DDS).

Apparently, claims workers in several jurisdictions were ordered by management to stall the processing of claims at the end of the SSA’s fiscal quarter in order to record those claim resolutions on the following quarter’s performance results.

Now, most claims workers at the DDS deal with a far larger caseload than can reasonably be expected, and generally work extremely hard for modest pay in the name of helping others.

If it didn’t interfere with the processing of claims, there would be no issue with bonuses being doled out for work well done. The fact is, however, that important work has been delayed to increase bonuses to DDS management.

This important work includes decisions on claims for people who are disabled and desperate, and may be depending on their Social Security Disability benefits award for basic survival needs.

This is outrageous.

What is clear is that members of upper management at the SSA are receiving large bonus checks (in some instances, checks exceeding $50,000). At a time when there is considerable unrest in our country regarding the very solvency of the Social Security program, this seems to be out of keeping with sound policy.

We recognize that the government needs to pay its representatives well in order to keep quality people. And we have no qualms with those who are the top levels of management and provide leadership receiving reasonable compensation.

Stalling the important work of the DDS in reviewing and resolving claims for disability benefits for the purposes of increasing performance based bonuses, however, means that certain Social Security office managers are increasing their own personal financial situation at the direct expense of our nation’s most needful and desperate citizens, and this is unacceptable.


After reading this post, I literally became sick to my stomach. I only got on this site to check the status or try to... of my appeal. I applied back in 2009 and was denied twice, then finally had my appeal hearing Sept. 16 2011 when I was told I would be notified withing 4-5 weeks of the decision. After two back surgeries, having to close down my business of a home daycare, losing my marriage, my home to foreclosure, going thru bankruptcy, having my truck repoed and just constant agony over the back problems, I am almost at my wits end. And few months ago my surgeon diagnosed me with FBSS...Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. But because Im only 43 they don't wont to give me SS disability although it has been to the point of me doing nothing in my life. I do laundry on my hands and knees, sweep maybe once cpl weeks but then am in horrible pain where i literally throw up for approx 2-3 days... never sleep more than 2-3 hours per nite cuz cannot lay sit or stand in one position so def cannot rest. Have tried to block out pain and go on but can barely drive now and then I see this that they are holding decisions until they possibly get their bonuses???? I am on foodstamps, low income housing and have a son trying to raise. This is infuriating cuz I have always been so active and a real go getter but now cannot physically do anything without extreme pain. Constantly depressed and cry now but have had to result in going to ERs quite often on weekends just to get by cuz hurts so bad cannot breath but yet they are holding and waiting on the claims??? I try to pray and have faith and I know there are others out there that fight to even breath so I know Im lucky to be able to move what little I can but this is absolutely ridiculous. I hope they sleep well and do get their bonuses. Everyone will reep what they sow and if they can all sleep with whats going on then I guess I will wait like everyone else and pray for the best and that God will take care of me

2 1/2 years ago my husband a disable veteran applied for social security disability due to loss of employment because the problem that has with his knee injury when he was in the navy.the pills that he take for his pain making drowsing and his mental abilities are making him depress, and to hear menbers of the upper managment at the ssa are recibing bonus and stalling important claims for their own pourposes makes my hart boil! my husband and I had to move to a place with no heat and central air and to small place because we can afford the place that we have due to the lost of his income and we depend only on my social security retairment and part time job.shame on them!

This information is indeed disturbing while many disabled and truly disabled folks are waiting to hear about their claim. Were all these actions justifiable and/or did this get looked into from a higher branch of government? Interesting story by the way.