The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report on the Social Security Administration’s efforts to update the disability program, entitled “Modernizing SSA Disability Programs: Progress Made, but Key Efforts Warrant More Management Focus.”
The GAO report focuses on three areas: (1) SSA’s effort to develop a new occupational information system (OIS); (2) SSA’s efforts to update the “listings” of impairments and (3) Other steps take by SSA to incorporate a modern view of disability into its eligibility criteria.
The report describes SSA’s two-tiered process for reviewing listings. First, it conducts a “comprehensive” update, reviewing all diseases and disorders in that listing. Then, SSA uses a more targeted approach, conducting reviews and updates of a smaller number of disorders within that body system. While SSA has made progress in its reviews. it still is encountering delays in both comprehensive and targeted updates.
The GAO seems to endorse SSA’s efforts to take a modern view of disability that looks beyond the claimant’s medical condition by giving greater consideration to his or her functional capacity…”
Under this concept…two people with the same impairment might have different degrees of work disability for a variety of reasons.
Finally, the report discusses a longer term research effort through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop an automated method to more quickly and comprehensively evaluate a claimant’s functional abilities for its disability determinations.
Social Security Disability Attorney and Lawyer, Randy Zeldin, Esq., represents individuals in West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton, in appeals of Social Security Disability appeals.