Mentally ill? Must be “nice”!

I noticed it's World Mental Health Day on twitter. Sounds like a great time for another rageblog! Sit down, shut up and HANG ON!

Want all rage and nothing but rage? Skip to page three!

Oregon Doesn't Believe in Disability for Mental Health Issues

Okay, it's actually unsubstantiated evidence since I heard it last night from a commenter on one of the Not Always Sites, but there are still numbers we can work with.

"If not for family I'd have been dead long before now, because mental illness isn't 'real' to Oregon Social Security. I had pro-bono lawyers for years that eventually gave up." [citation]

Wow, harsh, Oregon. Let's go to the numbers!1

  Judges Available Average Wait Approved Denied Dismissed
Michigan 64 18.9 months
(apx 1y 7m)
50% 32% 18%
Oregon 23 19 months
(1y, 7m)
42% 37% 20%
National N/A 18 months
(1.5 years)
45% 34% 21%

What surprises me at first glance is that Oregon has just over half the amount of ALJs to hear cases as we do here in Michigan. The answer, of course, is in population numbers–as of last year, Oregon had 4m residents, while Michigan had 9.9m. That's 243% more people! (Also one judge to every 173,913 people, versus 1:154,688, if you're counting.)

The wait is about the same all the way around2, but look at the more important numbers: Oregon is below the national average for approvals, above for denials and just a scant one percent off from dismissals. While it doesn't speak to how each judge feels about mental health appeals, the numbers do agree with the commenter's statement overall. It's rough to try for disability in Oregon!


Page Two: "We'll punish you for telling anyone you're suicidal."


1This site is fairly accurate–I've compared it to social security's page, which I can't find the link for. (Which is why I'm using that citation.)
2The wait really is that long. My appeal was filed on April 28, 2015 and my approval was dated September 29, 2016. (One year, five months and two days, inclusive of the end date. Which means it's gotten slightly worse in the course of a year.)

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