Social Security Review Dates for Disability Claims
I recently spoke to a social security field office claims rep who indicated that there are changes occurring with regard to how often the social security administration reviews disability claims.
Here are the observations that were made by this individual. And before I list them, let me point out for those who are unaware, the social security administration reviews all disability claims that have been approved. How often a review of a disability claim is conducted depends on something known as a diary date. The diary date is basically the approximate time that a case is scheduled to be sent for review by a social security office to a disability examiner at a state DDS (disability determination services). The disability examiner, in reviewing the claim, will investigate whether or not medical improvement has taken place for the purpose of determining whether or not an individual is still eligible to receive disability benefits.
For those who are wondering about the likelihood of keeping one's disability benefits after a review has been conducted, the truth is that, statistically, the great majority of claimants have their disability continued following a review of their claim.
Now, here are those observations reported to me by one social security field office claims representative. Bear in mind, of course, that these observations may not be representative of all states, and the observations are from a single individual.
1) There seem to be fewer 3 year diaries being set for cases approved on the basis of mental retardation.
2) There seem to be more 7 year diaries being set for cases principally involving back conditions.
3) There seem to be fewer 1 year diaries being set in general.
4) There seem to be fewer short diaries being set for cases approved principally on the basis of mental impairments.
All of these, of course, are good trends. Why is this happening? The individual I spoke with was of the opinion that cases are being given longer diary dates because cases that are reviewed less frequently, and which are likely to be continued anyway (meaning that, after a review of their claim, these individuals would most likely be allowed to continue receiving their disability benefits), simply results in a lower workload demand for social security. In other words, it saves money.
To me, that makes sense. All cases are reviewed at some point to determine if a claimant should go on receiving their benefits. However, when it is likely that a person, based on their condition, will have their benefits continued, it really makes no sense to keep reviewing their claims so frequently. It just creates more work for a stressed workforce and it costs the agency, meaning the taxpayers, more money.
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