North Carolina Social Security Disability claimants have had to wait many months, usually for more than a year, to have their Social Security disability claims decided.
This exceedingly long delay for disability claims creates hardships for sick and injured applicants. Many applicants are not only battling health or physical ailments, they are also under financial stress. They are concerned and distressed about their inability to support themselves and their families.
There is now real hope that North Carolina Citizens will have their claims decided much sooner.
The Social Security Administration has been testing a new computer program to speed the claims process. This program, called the Quick Disability Determination (QDD) program, was tested first in the northeastern United States.
The program was so successful that the Social Security Administration is now expanding the program nationwide.
The Commissioner of Social Security, Michael Astrue, recently announced that a regulation extending the quick disability determination process to all state disability determination services had been issued by SSA. The QDD process involves a predictive model that looks at specific pieces of data within the electronic claims file to help in identifying claims that have a high potential of the claimant being disabled and the allegations of the person can be obtained in a quick, easy manner.
Commission Astrue cited the successes QDD had enjoyed in test sites while making his announcement and said that he was happy that it would now be helping those filing for benefits everywhere in the United States. He also took pride in the improvements within the system for pending cases, saying that the number had decreased from more than 63,000 last October to less than 600 currently.
More than 2.5 million Social Security disability cases and more than 2.3 million Supplemental Security Income cases are received by Social Security annually. Due to the QDD model not incorporating as many diseases as possible yet, Commissioner Astrue has committed himself to increasing the number of cases able to be identified while keeping the same level of accuracy.
The final regulation went into effect on September 5, 2008 and will continue to be implemented gradually over the coming months.
Curious how eligiblity is determined? First, the applicant must have enough work credits. Dunn disability attorney Brent Adams explains more about work credits here.