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Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Technologies to Aid SSA Backlogs

The long claim process at the Social Security Administration (SSA) had been taking a toll to applicants.

Lack of sufficient manpower had been pointed as one of the reasons for the delays. Seeing the need to address this issue, SSA has adopted significant ways of speeding up the retrieval of medical records in the future. In doing so, delays may be minimized.

In fact, SSA was the first government agency to use Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) to cut down the time to get medical records from weeks or months to only minutes.

SSA had been receiving about three million claims annually and fifteen million requests for medical records. Usually, manual intervention necessitates the retrieval of these records. Hence, delay may take place in such retrieval. With the use of NHIN, claims may be processed quickly.

SSA urged the claimants to do their part in making the disability determination process more efficient. It suggested doing the application for disability benefits online.

Moreover, SSA identified medical codes that match certain medical listings. SSA’s computer system analyzes the data for these codes. In this manner, the process would be quicker and the response would be more immediate.

NHIN, on line application and medical codes were aimed at addressing the growing disability backlog. With these, applicants hope to reap their disability benefits sooner than the usual lengthy process.