How is Technology Used in Social Security Disability?
The Social Security disability claims process can take a long time. SSA representatives have to sort through medical records, applications, and work history in order to determine if someone meets the SSA's definition of "disabled." Recently, the Administration has adopted many new technologies to help speed up the time it takes to reach a decision for a disability claim.
There are many advantages to using computer-based records or communication, both for clients and for attorneys. If your claim for disability benefits was denied, you have the right to file an appeal. Make sure your case is handled efficiently by contacting an experienced disability attorney.
Common Technologies Used in Social Security Disability
1) Electronic Records
Documentation is the basis of a disability claim. Without medical records, a detailed work history, and other application materials, the Social Security Administration has nothing to use in determining if someone is disabled. This is why applicants must be thorough and completewhen they submit an application for disability benefits.
All of this material can be difficult to keep track of if it is printed on paper and kept in a physical file folder. Electronic records, on the otherhand, are easily accessible and organized. A person does not need to flip through section after section and paper after paper to find what they are looking for. Instead, they can look for specific documents and save a lot of time searching for information. Additionally, the information is not limited to a small space on a shelf may be thousands of pages long, but it is not a problem if it is stored on a computer. A disability claimant's records can be accessed from virtually anywhere.
2) iPads & Tablets
Some disability claimants must appeal their denied disability claim. The first stage in the disability appeals process is to file a Request for Reconsideration. If that request is denied, then the claimant must file for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. At a hearing, the disability claimant has a chance to discuss their claim in person. If they have an attorney, he or she presents a strong case by showing supporting documents.
To help present this information, some attorneys and representatives are turning to tablet computers, such as the iPad, to quickly scan through materials and documents. Our attorneys are beginning to use this technology to bookmark and add notes to certain parts of a claimant's records. This way, the attorney can present information in the order they intended and make sure that nothing is left out.
3) Video Conferencing
Disability claimants may be confined to their homes due to illness or injury, making it difficult to meet with an attorney or attend a hearing in regards to their disability claim. In some cases, the client may be able to have a face-to-face conversation by using video conferencing technology. Many video conference services, such as Skype, are free and easy to use. Whether the attorney and client are 5 miles or 500 miles away from a hearing site, video conferencing has its advantages.
While our firm has used this technology for a few years, we are working with the Social Security Administration to begin using it for hearings. The National Social Security Hearing Center is located in Falls Church, Virginia. While it was intended to "help speed disability decisions," it may not easily help those who lives across the country. Once we are able to conduct video hearings with this center, claimants may receive a decision on their disability claims faster than before. Video conferencing saves the client and attorney the time and money associated with traveling to a hearing.
The expert disability attorneys at Coye Law Firm are experienced with Florida, New York, Michigan, and District of Columbia law and are here to help the disabled.