As evidence that the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has made steps in the right direction to help disabled workers get benefits decision quicker, an SSA executive received an illustrious award from the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit organization that evaluates government agencies and promotes government service. Diane Braunstein received the 2011 Citizen Services Medal about two weeks ago at a ceremony recognizing exceptional government employees.
Braunstein received the award for her involvement with one of the better changes to come to disability benefits in recent memory – the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program. This program created a list of medical afflictions for which applicants progress through the disability benefits process at a faster than normal rate. The program recognizes that people suffering from severe afflictions on the list cannot afford to wait the months or years it sometimes takes to begin receiving disability benefits. The commissioner of the SSA commented that Braunstein’s work on the Compassionate Allowances program “has already helped about 100,000 people with severe disabilities get benefit decisions within days instead of months or years.”
With most reports in the media these days involves critical comments about Social Security, it is nice to see recognition for the improvements that make a difference in disabled workers’ lives. Compassionate Allowances originally began in 2008 with a list of 50 maladies, and the SSA periodically expands the list, including this past summer when it added 12 new conditions involving heart diseases. The list now totals 100 and has made a major difference in the lives of those who have been able to make use of the program. For more information on Compassionate Allowances and other disability benefits programs, a Tulsa Oklahoma SSI attorney is available for guidance.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys