Tuesday, February 05, 2008
I have recently learned that SSA by order of Commissioner Astrue will be suspending the proposed rule changes that would disadvantage claimants trying to get Social Security Disability benefits. The rule that would require evidence to be submitted 5 days prior to hearing has been halted. Also the closing of the record on appeal has also been suspended. The Commissioner after recieving concerns from Social Security representatives and lawyers about the proposed rule changes has reconsidered in light of the understanding of the difficulty claimants sometimes have in obtaining their medical records in a timely manner. It was also announced that the DSI program in the Boston region will be terminated. The DSI program was a tested new process in that region. It incorporated the five day rule on evidence and ended the claimants right to administrative review of unfavorable decisions by ALJs. This does not mean there will not be changes at some point but for now the Commissioner plans to meet with lawyer and representative organizations to discuss possible changes in system.