Some Updates from the Social Security Administration (SSA)
Here are a few updates from the SSA:
*The SSA has announced that it will extend its prototype testing of (1) elimination of reconsideration and (2) the single decisionmaker (the circumstance in which a disability examiner makes an initial disability determination without getting a medical or psychological consultant to sign off on it) until September 25, 2015. Prototype testing has been ongoing since 1999.
*The SSA has extended the pilot program allowing the SSA itself rather than the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to set the time and place of a hearing until August 10, 2015. The original motivation behind the pilot program, which began in 2010, was a New England ALJ who went years without scheduling any hearings. The pilot program has sought to correct for situations like this.
*The SSA has proposed conducting a National Beneficiary Survey (NBS) of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients. The purpose of the survey is to learn about the well-being and attitudes toward work, of SSDI and SSI recipients as well as to study factors that may encourage or hinder employment.
*The SSA is developing a new process called “Requests for Accommodation from Members of the Public” (RAMP) that will proceduralize how the SSA assesses and provides standard and non-standard accommodations to disabled individuals who request them.