Social Security Administration to Implement New Disability Process
Belleville, Ill. (5-23-06) - In late March, the Social Security Administration announced new regulations that will establish a new disability determination process. The agency hopes the new process will shorten the time it takes for obviously disabled people to receive benefits.
Agency commissioner Jo Anne B. Barnhart said the changes would ensure "that we make the right decision as early in the process as possible." The new process will be implemented in the six-state New England region beginning in August. SSA said it will wait at least one year before phasing in the system nationwide.
Highlights among the new procedures include:
- A faster determination process for people who are obviously severely disabled. The process is intended to resolve such cases within 20 days.
- Establishing a national network of medical, psychological and vocational experts to make accurate timely disability determinations.
- A new position-a federal reviewing official-will review state agency determinations when requested by the claimant. This will replace the reconsideration step of the current appeals process.
- Administrative law judges will have a goal of setting a time and place for a hearing within 90 days after receiving a hearing request.
- A Decision Review Board, which will replace the current Appeals Council, will review and correct decisional errors. A claimant cannot appeal the board's decision.
Jim Allsup, CEO and founder of Allsup Inc., says he is "cautiously optimistic" about the new process.
"I hope the new rules will usher in an improved process, one in which legitimately disabled taxpayers promptly receive the benefits they are due," he said. "It will take some time to determine if these changes truly improve the process. Allsup Inc. will continue to work with the Social Security Administration on behalf of disabled Americans to ensure that those who are eligible will receive their earned benefits."
A full in-depth analysis of these changes can be viewed here.
Who is Allsup Inc.? - Allsup Inc. is the nation's first nationwide private Social Security disability claims services company. Founded in 1984, we have helped tens of thousands of Americans nationwide receive their entitled benefits. We make the Social Security disability process less confusing, less intimidating and more convenient for people with disabilities. Allsup Inc. has a 97 percent award rate.