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Recently, I have blogged about the lengthy time the Social Security Administration(SSA) takes to determine whether a person is disabled, and the appeal protocol. It can be a process that’s frustrating for the disabled person and their family. In an attempt to expedite the process, Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced recently that improvements to the agency’s computer modeling system have increased the number of claimants receiving expedited approvals for disability benefits. Social Security’s two-track system — the Quick Disability Determination (QDD) process and Compassionate Allowances — is now fast-tracking about 4 percent of all disability cases, a sharp increase from the 2.7 percent of cases fast-tracked last year. However, this still leaves the vast majority of claims without the benefit of QDD.

"In practical terms, this means that this year 100,000 to 125,000 disabled Americans — those with the most severe disabilities — will be approved for benefits in about 10 days instead of waiting the three to four months it typically takes for an initial decision," Commissioner Astrue said. "These initiatives are truly a lifeline for those who need it most." If the initial decsion is that the person does not qualify for SSD benefits, then an appeal can be made at which point it is highly advisable to hire an attorney. It must be noted there is an extremely high percentage of cases where the person is rejected by the SSA for disability benefits.

Hopefully, the new Administration will realize the need for SSD claims to be heard in a more timely basis, approve more Adminstrative Law Judges to hear the appeals, and help disabled Americans quickly and efficiently. If you are appealing a decision where the SSA has denied your benefits, please contact our firm.

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