Friday, September 30, 2011

WSJ Gets Something Wrong

Greg Mankiw links to a Wall Street Journal story about SSA and the processing of disability claims.  It includes this paragraph:
The directive stemmed from a wrinkle in the federal calendar, in which this week fell between the federal government's 2011 and 2012 fiscal years. This happens every five or six years, as officials are allowed to count just 52 weeks in their calendar. Counting this week would make the current fiscal year 53 weeks long. That meant any applications for disability benefits completed between Monday and Friday wouldn't count toward the annual numerical targets set for Social Security judges or field offices.
This is, of course, wrong, at least in the sense the federal government's fiscal year is 365 or 366 days, not 52 weeks.  I suspect SSA set up weekly and yearly targets in their workload reporting system, with no provision for part-week reporting.  So this is a case where the bureaucratic system pinches the applicant, and shouldn't occur.

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