'Mood Disorders' at the Social Security Administration?
At CNS News today, Terry Jeffrey reports on the annual statistical report on federal disability insurance that the Social Security Administration released last month. Jeffrey reports that "at the end of 2011 there was a then-record of 8,575,544 workers collecting federal disability benefits and among them were 1,304,851 doing so because they suffered from 'mood disorders.'" He then goes into further detail, saying:
"The incidence of “mood disorders” among disability beneficiaries was not proportionately distributed among the states and territories, according to the official SSA statistics. Some locations had much higher percentages of disability beneficiaries diagnosed with mood disorders than other locations.
"In American Samoa, for example, only 3.1 percent of the workers collecting federal disability benefits had been diagnosed with a “mood disorder.” In Puerto Rico, by contrast, 33.3 percent of disability beneficiaries had a mood disorder.
"Massachusetts led the 50 states for disabling mood disorders. In that state, 22.8 percent of disability beneficiaries had been diagnosed with a mood disorder. New Hampshire was second with 22.2 percent, and Rhode Island was third with 20.7 percent.
"Among the states, North Dakota--with 9.2 percent--had the lowest percentage of disability beneficiaries diagnosed with a mood disorder. Louisiana was second from the bottom with 9.7 percent, and Montana was third from the bottom with 9.8 percent."
Jeffrey also adds: "According to the SSA report, 11.2 percent of men collecting disability were doing so for a mood disorder and 19.7 percent of the women collecting disability were doing so for a mood disorder."
Makes you wonder if the diagnosis of "mood disorders" was identified through the Social Security Administration's "Compassionate Allowances" program. You can read more about the program at this SSA webpage. But no, "mood disorder" is not one of the 165 "compassionate allowances conditions" currently listed at this SSA webpage. By my cursory count, there are 52 conditions that were added "effective August 11, 2012." From the SSA description of the Compassionate Allowances program, it appears the program was put in place to work around SSA's bureaucracy. So, rather than reducing bureaucratic bloat in order to effectively and efficiently deliver disability benefits, the Commissioner puts in place additional bureaucracy.