Court Ruling May Delay Social Security Disability Claims

Posted on Oct 02, 2007

The Social Security Administration says a recent ruling by a federal judge that suspended a crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants could potentially cause a major disruption in the processing of millions of routine retirement and disability claims.

An acting Social Security deputy commissioner, David A. Rust, said that unless the agency was allowed to mail over 140,000 already-prepared letters advising employers of discrepancies between workers’ Social Security information and agency records, there will be a vast bureaucratic logjam. According to government lawyers, any delay in the mailing or requirement that the mailing be revised would result in “significant harm” to the agency and “interfere with its ability to carry out its core functions.”

The plea came after federal judge Maxine M. issued a ruling temporarily barring the Social Security agency from sending the mailings, known as “no-match” letters. The letters refer to the records of more than 8M workers and include a notice from the Department of Homeland Security that advises employers about new rules to follow after receiving them. If the workers in question are unable show that they have valid Social Security numbers within 90 days, they must be fired or the employer faces the risk of prosecution.

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