Since the start of his career in February 2007, Michael J. Astrue has made it his main goal in life to help people with disabilities, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Throughout his tenure, he has made it a point to change the perception that some people have about the Social Security disability system and the people who are currently receiving benefits. In commemoration of his five years of service, the charitable organization known as The Arc presented him with the 2012 President's Award which honors those people whose work makes a positive impact on The Arc, its future and the people they serve.
"Throughout his tenure, Commissioner Astrue has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to addressing the needs of people with disabilities. Bringing his unique business perspective to the Social Security Administration, he revolutionized the way it has been run and helped better serve individuals with the most significant disabilities," said Peter Berns, Chief Executive Officer of The Arc. "Knowing that Social Security is not just numbers and getting checks out on time, but people's lives, he has become a true ally to the disability community in our nation. We are thrilled to be honoring him at our national convention."
The commissioner received the award at The Arc's 2012 National Convention and International Forum, an event that brings members of the intellectual and developmental community together to advocate human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities all over the world.
One of the commissioner's most distinguished accomplishments during his tenure was that he reduced the average length of time applicants waited to receive a decision on their claim for Social Security disability benefits. Thanks to his initiative, in the last two years almost 300,000 people have been awarded disability benefits.
Source: The Aiken Leader, "Commission Astrue Receives 2012 President's Award from The Arc," Nov. 1, 2012