Report: Top Social Security official often appears ‘intoxicated’ at work
A Social Security Administration deputy commissioner who oversaw 9,000 employees and a $1.2 billion budget often appeared ‘intoxicated’ or ‘drunk’ on the job, six witnesses told the court. Washington Post in a survey this week.
The woman remains in her post today, the Job said, even six months after Acting Social Security Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi received an internal report into the woman’s conduct. The agency also received additional complaints about the individual in the months that followed.
“She’s MIA, and they don’t hold anyone accountable,” a witness said of the official, adding that the department was “rudderless” and the woman had missed meetings.
“If you can’t do this job anymore, honestly, you should put your hand up and say, ‘I can’t do 100% anymore,'” a member of the woman’s staff said, adding that “nothing has been do. “
The woman is also diabetic, the Job noted, and she “told a close circle of colleagues that she was facing medical issues stemming from the condition.”
A Social Security spokesperson told the Job that they couldn’t comment on that specific person due to privacy policies.
“When we receive allegations regarding potential personnel issues, including those involving executives or managers, we take appropriate action, if necessary,” the spokesperson said.
“Given this and the information available, we have confidence in the leadership of the Office of Hearings Operations,” they added.
Much of the behavior, according to the report, took place during the pandemic and on Microsoft Teams, the software used by the agency for meetings. Some employees even discussed his behavior in instant messages during meetings.
The Social Security administration has been under siege for much of the time since the pandemic began. The agency closed its offices for more than two years, finally reopening in the spring. There continue to be complaints about slow service at Social Security offices across the country.
According to a February report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Social Security Administration needed a “significant increase in funding.”
“The Social Security Administration (SSA) has suffered from more than a decade of underinvestment, compounded by the COVID pandemic. The 2022 appropriations are an opportunity for policymakers to begin making significant reinvestments in the agency, including to ensure that its planned resumption of in-person service is smooth and safe and that it adequately serves applicants and recipients left behind during the pandemic,” the report said. .
“Policymakers can make a down payment on SSA’s reconstruction and address new pandemic-related challenges by providing strong funding for SSA’s essential services in the Labor Appropriations Bill, Education and HHS for 2022,” recommended.
Stephen Silver, technology editor for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who also contributes to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and connect today. Co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.