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SSA Speeds Up Fast-Track Disability Processes

If you are suffering from a disability, you're likely already dealing with plenty of anxiety and stress without having to think about the status of your bank account or how you're going to pay the bills this month. In light of this, the Social Security Administration recently set forth new rules which will reduce the time it takes to process and decide the applications for Social Security Disability benefits of the most severely disabled.

Currently, it takes an average of two weeks for disability examiners to decide whether an applicant qualifies for Social Security. Starting next month, when the new rules go into effect, examiners will no longer have to seek medical or psychological consultant approval, and may make favorable determinations on their own under the agency's Quick Disability Determination (QDD) and Compassionate Allowances (CAL) programs.

Under QDD, a predictive computer program analyzes application data to identify cases with a high likelihood of disability. Similarly, CAL identifies 88 medical conditions that qualify for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability benefits.

Social Security Administration officials expect the new regulations to increase the overall efficiency of the application process, by freeing up time for medical and psychological consultants to work on the more complex cases where their expertise is truly needed.

"The new rules we are publishing today will help us get disability benefits to the most severely disabled Americans even faster," said Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue. "This year, more than 1000,000 people benefited from our fast-track disability processes and received decisions in a matter of days rather than the months and years it can sometimes take. I am pleased that our fast-track processes will now be even faster and help speed much needed benefits to our most vulnerable citizens."

Source: EmailWire, "Social Security Fast-Track Disability Processes Get Even Faster", 13 October 2010

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