We will be following every person whose case is filed in the Boston region and determining where that case will end up, whether it is newly filed or somewhere in transition between SSA offices.
Belleville, Ill. (Vocus) March 21, 2008
The Social Security Administration announced that on March 23 it will discontinue an initiative that was created to address the backlog situation with applications for Social Security Disability Insurance. Allsup (http://www.allsup.com ), a national Social Security Disability Insurance representation company, is altering its procedures to help disability claimants whose cases are affected by the federal policy change.
The Disability Service Improvement (DSI) plan was initiated in August 2006 for new claims filed in Region 1, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Elements of the initiative included establishing the Office of the Federal Reviewing Official for FedRO review, creating the Medical and Vocational Expert System (MVES) to develop medical evidence, and launching the Quick Disability Determination (QDD) process. However, the FedRO and MVES processes will be suspended for new claims effective March 23.
“This change in policy affects people we support through the disability process ,” said Ron Buerges, Allsup executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We will be following every person whose case is filed in the Boston region and determining where that case will end up, whether it is newly filed or somewhere in transition between SSA offices.”
Some cases are likely to move to the FedRO for review before the March 23 deadline, while others might be shifted to the Disability Determination Services office in a particular state for reconsideration as the deadline nears.
The change affects New Hampshire cases in particular. After March 23, the state will revert to its status as a “skip state.” New Hampshire claimants who are denied with their initial application will “skip” the second level of appeals and proceed to the third level, where the cases are heard by administrative law judges.
Allsup has more than 200 cases pending at the FedRO. “We will track and monitor cases that are in transition,” said Mr. Buerges. “We will continue to do what we do best — work hard to ensure our customers receive their entitled benefits.”
DSI was enacted as an effort to speed the process for SSDI applications. The SSA has been dealing with a growing backlog of applications for SSDI at all levels in recent years. There are more than 1.4 million people waiting for a decision at all levels of the process, and 2.5 million people apply for disability benefits each year.
QDD was created to accelerate certain cases that have a high potential for award when the claimant is clearly disabled and evidence can be quickly and easily obtained. As announced last year, the QDD program is being expanded nationwide on a separate basis.
Allsup has helped more than 100,000 Americans with disabilities obtain $1.5 billion in Social Security and Medicare payments. Today, the company has 500 employees working to pre-qualify individuals to ensure eligibility, develop an accurate factual record and represent applicants through the disability decision process. This allows the Social Security Administration to focus on issuing disability decisions and clearing backlogged claims.
For more information, go to http://www.allsup.com.
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