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What’s new in Social Security Disability?

Stop the Wait

The National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives (NOSSCR) is lobbying to end the five-month waiting period for individuals filing Social Security Disability (SSD) claims and the 24-month waiting period for Medicare coverage. Most important to our clients, who desperately need comprehensive health care, is ending the wait-time for Medicare coverage.

Trump Effects

Officials nominated during the administration of President Trump, Commissioner Andrew Saul and Deputy Commissioner David F. Black, will serve out their appointed terms unless they decide to step down. However, two Trump initiatives — increasing continuing disability reviews and overhauling the medical-vocational reviews  — have expired with the expiration of the deadline for passage of the rulings.

Technology Rules

The Social Security Administration has long been criticized for old-school practices and dated technology. Now playing a game of catch-up, the SSA recently announced:

Electronic 1696 forms will replace the nine-page documents needed for claimants to appoint legal representation.

Claims known as “paper cases” will be scanned into the online system and handled electronically.

Telephone and video hearings continue to increase. Access to these can be difficult for some clients, requiring assistance from us (claimants attorneys), and we have to be more particular about the evidence we provide the Administrative Law Judges so they can make a fair decision, but overall, these changes in technology result in simpler and faster processing of claims for our clients.