The Ponder Media Group offers a variety of services and products; this includes serving as an information clearinghouse on all things Social Security. One of its founding and primary principles is to serve as a true advocate of John Q. Public, a position that oftentimes puts it in direct conflict with both SSA as an institution, and for- pay self-described “advocates”. To that end, we subscribe to the theme “An educated consumer is the best customer”. For example, the public does not know that employees of the SSA, while generally “helpful”, are restricted by law from serving as actual applicant advocates because of their primary responsibility to protect SSA Trust Fund interests.

Second, paid representatives in disability claims oftentimes subvert applicant interests by not actively and aggressively pursuing early approval of his/her disability claim. Simply put, given the 25% of past-due benefits representative fee scenario, it is in the financial interests of the representative to stall and delay processing of a claim to allow past-due benefits to accrue. This is commonly referred to as “warehousing” a claim. While all representatives do not engage in the practice, this is an increasing problem, particularly with regard to large assembly line claims operations that are well-marketed. The New York Times article of December 23, 2011 addresses some related issues, and the Congress has expressed its concern regarding SSA representation as well.

The Ponder Media Group conducts seminars, training, and lectures on the SSA disability evaluation process and program. It also conducts weekly webinars on a variety of Social Security matters and regularly posts blogs on SSA operations and workload profiles. TPMG has produced a video on the SSA disability program which outlines the “Rules of the Game” from an insider’s perspective.

TPMG further serves as a Consultant to individuals who are in the process of filing a claim or who have filed, and the case is pending review within the SSA. These cases are handled on a pro bono basis in “dire need” situations or for non-profits.


The following identifies some traditional advocates, audiences and other vested interests parties, that have a financial stake in the outcome of a SSA disability claim:

  1. Applicants.
  2. Caregivers.
  3. Non-profit institutions.
  4. Family medicine practitioners, and/or primary care physicians.
  5. Clinics.
  6. Hospitals, and particularly emergency room components.
  7. Employers and Insurance companies have a vested interest in the outcome of a SSA disability claim because the sooner entitlement to federal benefits begins, the less cost to them in the form of disability payments under their private plans – See TPMG Open Letter to Human Resources Directors and Insurance Plan Managers under “Corporate Services”.
This themes includes code from Andreas Hassellöf, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution v3.0 License