Disability determination procedures: Disability claims process redesign prototype and single decisionmaker model tests; testing modifications; extension,

 
CONTENT

[Federal Register: June 24, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 121)]

[Notices]

[Page 42594-42595]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr24jn02-104]

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

Modifications to the Disability Determination Procedures; Extension of Testing of Some Disability Redesign Features

AGENCY: Social Security Administration (SSA)

ACTION: Notice of the extension of tests involving modifications to the disability determination procedures.

SUMMARY: We are announcing the extension of tests involving modifications to our disability

[[Page 42595]]

determination procedures that we are conducting under the authority of current rules codified at 20 CFR 404.906 and 416.1406. These rules provide authority to test several modifications to the disability determination procedures that we normally follow in adjudicating claims for disability insurance benefits under title II of the Social Security Act (the Act) and for supplemental security income payments based on disability under title XVI of the Act. We have decided to extend the testing of two redesign features of the disability prototype for six months to enable us to address transition issues.

DATES: We are extending our selection of cases to be included in these tests from June 28, 2002, until no later than December 30, 2002. If we decide to continue selection of cases for these tests beyond this date, we will publish another notice in the Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Candace Skurnik, Disability Process Redesign Staff, Office of Disability, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235-6401, 410-965-4636.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Current regulations at 20 CFR 404.906 and 416.1406 authorize us to test, individually, or in any combination, different modifications to the disability determination procedures. We have conducted several tests under the authority of these rules, including a prototype that incorporates a number of modifications to the disability determination procedures that the State agencies use. The prototype included three redesign features, and we are extending the tests of two of those features: the use of a single decisionmaker, in which a disability examiner may make the initial disability determination in most cases without requiring the signature of a medical consultant; and elimination of the reconsideration level of review. We are not extending the testing of the predecision interview, which we call a claimant conference.

We also have conducted another test involving the use of a single decisionmaker who may make the initial disability determination in most cases without requiring the signature of a medical consultant. We are also extending the period during which we will select cases to be included in this test of the single decisionmaker feature.

Extension of Testing of Some Disability Redesign Features

On August 30, 1999, we published in the Federal Register a notice announcing a prototype that would test a new disability claims process in 10 States, also called the prototype process (64 FR 47218). On December 23, 1999, we published a notice in the Federal Register (65 FR 72134) extending the period during which we would select cases to be included in a separate test of the single decisionmaker feature. In these notices, we stated that selection of cases was expected to be concluded on or about December 31, 2001. We also stated that, if we decided to continue the tests beyond that date, we would publish another notice in the Federal Register. On December 28, 2001, we published a notice extending selection of cases for these tests until no later than June 28, 2002 (66 FR 67347). We also stated that, if we decided to continue selection of cases for these tests beyond that date, we would publish another notice in the Federal Register. We have decided to extend selection of cases for two features of the prototype process (single decisionmaker and elimination of the reconsideration step), and the separate test of single decisionmaker beyond June 28, 2002. We expect that our selection of cases for these tests will end on or before December 30, 2002.

This extension also applies to the locations in the State of New York that we added to the prototype test in a notice published in the Federal Register on December 26, 2000 (65 FR 81553).

Dated: June 14, 2002. Martin H. Gerry, Deputy Commissioner for Disability and Income Security Programs.

[FR Doc. 02-15844Filed6-21-02; 8:45 am]

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