Tuesday, December 11, 2007



Social Security Disability Approvals that are automatic

An article appearing in the Washington Times states that the social security administration is looking at ways to make automatics approvals on claims based on certain disability criteria. One means of doing this would allegedly involve computer automation that would algorithmically identify cases that are good candidates for such automatic approvals. Apparently, the commissioner of the social security administration would like to see fulfilled the goal of making up to 15 percent of all disability applications automatic approvals.

All of this is pure drivel and mindless BS, either concocted naively by administration suits that know nothing about disability adjudication, or formulated simply for PR and press consumption.

The truth of the matter is, it doesn't matter what a disability claimant's allegations are (in other words, the medical conditions that are indicated on the disability application). What matters is the extent to which an individual is functionally limited by an impairment.

For example, a claimant who lists stroke on a social security disability or SSI claim may be disabled may or may not be disabled, depending on their residuals. They may suffer temporary memory loss, temporary speech deficits, temporary cognition deficits, and temporary weakness and loss of coordination on one side of the body. In such cases, a claimant's condition may resolve to a point where they may be considered capable of maintaining competitive employment. In, in other cases, though, a CVA (cerebrovascular accident) may involve more extensive damage with permanent effects that render the possibility of returning to work absolutely nil.

The point, however, is this: until a claimant's medical records have been gathered and evaluated, there is simply no way to know whether or not their condition is actually disabling and should result in disability benefits being awarded.

What the times article is referring is either a) pie in the sky or b) propaganda intended for media consumption. Here's the article:

Automatic disability decisions? Don't think so




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