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SSDI computer system struggles after 6 years of development

Around 19 million people in the United States rely on Social Security Disability income (SSDI) for their financial security. Many more -- around 660,000 people -- are awaiting decisions on their SSDI applications. Nearly one million people are awaiting a decision on appeal, including Florida residents.

Six years ago the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it was going to develop a computer system to simplify the process of applying and getting approved for SSDI. The system was supposed to consolidate 54 separate systems, thereby saving time for applicants and money for the department. However, these promises never came to fruition.

After six years of beta testing, the computer system is still plagued with issues. A recent report found that despite costing $300 million to develop, the system still have more than 380 known issues. The report claims the system has limited functionality, even after all this time. The report claims the expected release date for the system is still 24 to 36 months away.

Many people have expressed outrage over the findings of this SSA news and report. They cannot believe that department would spend so much time and money on this system in such difficult economic times. Some are calling the project mismanaged. The report called for a review of the vendor and greater oversight of the project by the SSA.

The development of this system is just one of the many complexities of the SSA. People who are trying to apply for SSDI benefits or other SSA benefits can run into many complications that can delay their application and approval. Nonetheless, with the right help and some patience, people can get the benefits that they need and deserve.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Social Security computer system still not working after six years," Yvonne Wenger, July 24, 2014

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