Social Security's Quick Disability Determination Process Begins in Texas

New Process Will Accelerate Benefits to Those Deemed Clearly Disabled

NOTE: For more information, call the Regional Public Affairs Office at 214-767-3407 
or e-mail to Aurora Arias-Lopez at aurora.arias-lopez@ssa.gov.

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced that the Social Security Administration has implemented its new quick disability determination (QDD) process in the Texas Disability Determination Services effective November 19, 2007. Under QDD, a predictive model analyzes specific elements of data within the electronic claims file to identify claims where there is a high potential that the claimant is disabled and where evidence of the person’s allegations can be quickly and easily obtained.

"The quick disability determination process has been very successful and efficient. I am happy to say it will now help people filing for disability benefits in Texas," Commissioner Astrue said. "This is a very important step we are taking at Social Security to improve our disability programs."

The Social Security Administration currently receives more than 191,600 new disability cases each year in Texas. In New England, where the QDD process was tested, about three percent of all new cases were identified as QDD cases. These cases were processed in an average of 11 days. Since the model does not yet incorporate as many diseases as it can, Commissioner Astrue has committed to expanding the number of cases that can be identified as a QDD case while maintaining the same level of accuracy.

"The length of time many people wait for a disability decision is unacceptable," Commissioner Astrue said. "I am committed to a process that is as fair and speedy as possible. While there is no single magic bullet, with better systems, better business processes and better ways of fast-tracking targeted cases, we can greatly improve the service we provide to the citizens of Texas."

For more information about Social Security’s disability programs, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/disability.