Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Disability Process Speeds Up

The Social Security Administration has made their fast-track disability process operate even faster. SSA announced final rules in the Federal Register that are effective November 12th that will reduce the time it takes to make decisions on applications received for disability benefits from persons with even the most severe disabilities.

With the new fast-track disability process, help for the applicant now takes less than two weeks on the average. SSA Commissioner Michael J. Astrue, reports that this year more than 100,000 people benefited from the fast track disability process and received decisions in a matter of days rather than the months and years it can sometimes take.

The new rules allow disability examiners to make fully favorable determinations for adult cases under SSA’s “Quick Disability Determination” (QDD) and “Compassionate Allowance” (CAL) processes without medical or psychological consultant approval. It will also help SSA to process cases more efficiently as it will give medical and psychological consultants more time to work on complex cases where their expertise is most needed.

The QDD process, a predictive computer model analyzes specific data within the electronic disability file to identify cases where there is a high likelihood that the claimant is disabled and then SSA is able to quickly obtain medical evidence. The CAL process currently identifies 88 specific diseases and conditions that clearly qualify for Social Security and supplemental Security Income disability benefits and enables this information to be fast-tracked.