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Social Security Administration: More Effort Needed to Assess Consistency of Disability Decisions
Robert E. Robertson (au). Each year, about 2.5 mill. people file claims with the Social Sec. Admin. (SSA) for disabil. ben. If the claim is denied at the initial level, the claimant may appeal to the hearings level. The hearings level has allowed more than half of all appealed claims, an allow. rate that has raised concerns about the consistency of decisions made at the 2 levels. To help ensure consistency, SSA began a “process unification” (PU) initiative in 1994 & recently ann’d. a new proposal to strengthen its disabil. programs. This report examines: the status of SSA’s PU initiative; SSA’s assessments of possible inconsistencies in decisions between adjudication levels; & whether SSA’s new proposal incorporates changes to improve consistency in decisions between adjud. levels. Tables.
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