“I am confident that people will look back at today’s announcement as the most significant improvement in our disability determination process since the program began back in 1956.”
These were the words from Social Security’s Commissioner last week regarding a change to make the disability benefits application process quicker and more accurate. This of course is welcome news to any disabled American who has sought disability benefits, as the process typically lasts at least a year. So, what did Social Security do to speed up the process?
It expanded its agreements with healthcare providers to transmit information electronically. Social Security has already done this with a few smaller organizations, but last week’s announcement concerned Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest healthcare providers in the country with nearly nine million health plan members and 200,000 employees. Now disability applicants who have received healthcare through Kaiser can agree to share their medical information with Social Security electronically, which improves the speed and accuracy of the process. This is the first time Social Security will be sharing medical information electronically on such a large scale.
Any streamlining of the disability process is welcome news, but, as we have mentioned in the past, Social Security is already efficiently run in terms of administrative costs. In 2010, for example, providing SSDI benefits cost Social Security just 2.3 percent in overhead costs; for survivor and retirement benefits, those costs were just 0.6 percent. Despite being the frequent target of political attacks, the Social Security Administration continues to do a good job and improve with what resources it has.
Are you in the application process for disability benefits? We recommend speaking to one of the experts at our Tulsa OK Social Security Disability law firm to maximize your chances of receiving benefits.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers