In our last post we discussed some of the pressures that the Social Security Disability system is facing and the fact that the Social Security Administration has begun to allow physicians to evaluate applicants even when physicians have no expertise about an applicant’s particular condition. This is a problem because many physicians haven’t practiced outside of their specialty area for decades and may be wholly unprepared to analyze complex disability cases. This could result in many disabled applicants being denied benefits.
“People who shouldn’t be getting disability are getting it, and people who should be getting it aren’t getting it,” a surgeon said. The surgeon worked for the SSA part time for about a decade.
A SSA spokesman said that the decisions of local SSA offices would significantly increase the cost-effectiveness of disability decisions and speed things up.
“The decisions are timelier-and all would agree that is a good thing-but this does not mean we are sacrificing quality for ‘speed.’ It’s a balance,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman added that the SSA has begun reviewing more of its medical consultant’s work and concluded that many of the consultants did not abide by the SSA criteria for disability. There are also supporters of the changes who feel that the speedy processing of claims has improved customer service for everyone.
A speedy wrongful denial is not in the best interest of an applicant however and an experienced Social Security Disability attorney can help guide wrongfully denied applicants through the complex reconsideration and appeals process for disability claims.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Doctor Revolt Shakes Disability Program,” Damian Paletta, Nov. 21, 2011