The Social Security Disability Insurance program was created more than a couple years ago, and so was much of the documentation that helps administrative law judges, vocational experts and other staff members make certain decisions. For instance, the job listings document used by vocational experts was last updated in 1991.
The only problem is that a lot has happened since 1991. The job market has changed drastically in that time. This document is what the vocational experts use to determine what types of jobs an SSD applicant may be able to do. There are a lot of tech jobs that have been developed over the past couple of decades. The Social Security Administration is updating this document and making some other changes as well.
Another document that is being updated is something that is referred to as the “grid.” This grid is much like a multiplication table, only it is of course a bit more complex. The grid takes into account several factors, including age, type of impairment and education. Then, it can help determine whether the applicant would be eligible for SSD benefits.
Some other changes include resetting the maximum caseload that each judge handles per year. Judges reported that too many cases means that they can’t devote the time necessary to make a proper determination in each case. These judges will also be watched more closely under a new job description and a type of tracking system for award numbers.
Regardless of whether documents were updated today or twenty years ago, the application process isn’t a walk in the park. Providing sufficient proof and medical documentation of your own can be a complicated process that can go a little more smoothly for San Diego residents with a little bit of legal help.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Six Changes Social Security Is Making to Its Disability Program,” Damian Paletta, Dec. 26, 2013