No. of Recommendations: 2
What's the real problem here?

There isn't one.

Poorly trained 1st tier government staff that "over-rejected" too many legitimate claims because they lacked the expertise to separate the legit from the bogus?

No. The initial test is designed to reject most of the first-time claims except those that are very specifically categorized.

Under-staffed 2nd tier government staff that lacked the resources to raise adequate defenses of legitmate rejections and just caving when brought to court?

It is an administrative hearing--not a court. So, there is no "defense". It is up to the person (or their attorney) to prove they *meet* the requirements of being disabled AND not being able to reasonably work in the economy (i.e. gainful employment).

A growing problem with pension and disability coverage provided by employers of workers with "hard skills" that use strategic bankruptcy to walk away from pension and disability obligations to miners, steelworkers and other high-toil, high-risk jobs?

No. Not having another source of income is NOT a valid reason to get disability. If a person can still do the work, they are not disabled. A medical doctor has to certify disability--and why it is a disability. That information can then be independently checked in an examination done by a doctor paid by SSDI (i.e. not the first doctor). That makes it an independent evaluation of the patient from two doctors.

Or is it a reflection of a growing divide in the workplace exacerbating a problem with a gulf between "hard skills" and "soft skills"?

Yes and no. A "physical" job wears out the worker's body--so most people in those types of jobs will be "disabled", possibly before age 60. They would qualify for SSDI. Many will be able to make it to 62-65 (66-67) and then retire (62 for early retirement at a reduced benefit).

When an industry moves offshore, those who are 50-55+ might also qualify for SSDI if they have relatively minor disabilities. That is compounded by the fact there is no work in the US economy for them (i.e. no gainful employment for them in the area based on their training and experience). Guess what has been a major problem for the last 10+ years? Offshoring of business from the US--leaving mostly older employees with little-to-nothing to show for 20-30+ years of work.

If you're a surgeon, you can either stand for six hours straight through an operation with steady hands and an ability to concetrate or you cannot.

With the da Vinci robots, they don't have to stand any more--they sit and run a remote control computer-operated surgical machine.
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