As the new year begins, the Social Security Administration has announced its intention to begin work on several improvements to the system. These new improvements are designed to make the agency more efficient and reduce the occurrence of fraud. For recipients of Social Security benefits in Omaha, it is important to take note of these proposed changes and whether they will impact your ability to qualify for benefits.

Proposed Changes to Increase Efficiency and Reduce Fraud

  • Beginning in 2016 or possibly even later, the agency will use a more updated database of job listings when assessing whether or not a person can perform another job in the local area. The listings currently used have not been updated since 1991, and are therefore severely lacking. Many jobs that are popular in today’s market did not exist at the time the previous listing was created.
  • Updating the “grid” used by administrative law judges to determine whether people are eligible for benefits. This grid has not been updated in many years, which does not reflect the current trend of workers remaining employed well into their 60’s and 70’s in productive positions.
  • Revamping disclosure requirements. The agency is currently working on a new rule that will prevent firms and other parties from withholding information that relates to a disability application.
  • Investigating doctors and lawyers. The agency is launching a project to assess whether, and to what extent, physicians and certain unscrupulous attorneys are abusing the current system.
  • Redesigning the job description for Social Security Administration judges. Under the old system, judges were mostly appointed for life, making it difficult for a judge to be removed. Under the new system, judges will be subject to multiple layers of supervision and scrutiny. They will also be subject to more intensive training.

Disabled individuals in Sarpy County do not have to worry that these changes will impact their benefits, provided that they are honest about their injuries and submit fair and accurate applications and paperwork. To learn more about Social Security disability claims and how our firm can help you, view the testimonials of our past clients.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska