Accession Number : ADA207465

Title :   Social Security: Selective Face-to-Face Interviews with Disability Claimants Could Reduce Appeals.

Corporate Author : GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC HUMAN RESOURCES DIV

PDF Url : ADA207465

Report Date : Apr 1989

Pagination or Media Count : 33

Abstract : Nearly two-thirds of the people who apply to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disability benefits are initially denied them. Many appeal this decision, asking for reconsideration. Some go on appealing to an administrative law judge (ALJ). The appeals process can be a lengthy one: decisions from ALJS have come an average of 14 months after the original disability applications were filed. The process can also be costly because claimants often hire attorneys. The Chairman of the Subcommittee on Social Security, House Committee on Ways and Means, asked GAO to provide (1) information on several aspects of the appeals process, including reasons for the high rate of decision reversals at the ALJ level, and (2) suggestions for making the process less burdensome. This report discusses the reasons for the differences between ALJ decisions and the initial ones. It also discusses whether changes at the reconsideration stage could reduce the need for appeals to ALJS, especially for certain categories of older workers who are frequently granted benefits by ALJS. Some ALJS believe DDSs could approve more cases and reduce the need for appeals if DDSs made more realistic determinations about the ability of older claimants to continue working. GAO's analysis of 1986 disability applications indicated that several categories of older claimants are likely to be granted benefits when they appeal to ALJs. Some of these appeals might be avoided if DDSs interviewed selected claimants at the reconsideration stage. (AW)

Descriptors :   *BENEFITS, *INCAPACITATION, *SOCIAL SECURITY, *INTERVIEWING, *PERSONNEL, *LITIGATION, ATTORNEYS, DECISION MAKING, HIGH RATE, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, LAW ENFORCEMENT, MANAGEMENT, PANEL(COMMITTEE), REVERSIBLE

Subject Categories : Sociology and Law
      Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE