Notes on What’s New in the Social Security Administration (SSA)
Here’s a quick rundown of some recent updates to the federal register.
-The SSA has extended authorization for “quick disability determination” (QDD) and compassionate allowance (CAL) processes for one year. The new expiration date is November 14, 2014. QDD and CAL processes allow a State agency disability examiner to grant full benefits to eligible claimants without first consulting a State agency medical and/or psychological expert.
-The SSA has recently closed an online forum regarding how, if at all, genetic information should factor into the disability determination process. The forum closed on December 26, 2013 and the SSA is evaluating the comments and ideas submitted.
-The SSA recently posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding updates to the existing regulations for Interim Assistance Reimbursement (IAR). IAR is how the SSA compensates states that provide financial assistance to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimants while they are awaiting their benefits. Comments on the NPRM closed on January 24, 2014.
-The SSA is currently evaluating comments it requested – and received – regarding its self-evaluation procedures. The SSA’s self-evaluation practices were first outlined in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the SSA is now looking to update them based on public input.
And one final note of good news: Each year, The Center for Plain Language evaluates federal agencies on the accessibility of the language they use. Agencies are graded in two areas: Plain Writing and Compliance with the Plain Writing Act of 2010. The SSA received an A in both categories of evaluation for 2013. What’s more, it was the only federal agency to receive an A in Plain Writing!