In an effort to improve the speed and quality of their disability claims process, Social Security developed the “fast-track” program, a two-part initiative that uses computer technology to identify cases where the decision is highly likely or certain to be favorable.
The first initiative is Quick Disability Determinations (QDD). Under QDD, a predictive computer model analyzes specific data within the electronic file to identify cases where there is a high potential that the claimant is disabled and where Social Security can quickly obtain evidence of the person’s allegations.
Currently, QDD is in effect across the United States. Social Secuirty estimates that 4 percent of all disability cases receive a fast-track decision. That means that 100,000 to 125,000 disabled Americans — those with the most severe disabilities — will receive a decision on their case in approximately 10 days (a stark difference from the usual 4 month wait time).
Many QDD cases involve low birth-weight babies, cancer, and end-stage renal disease. Social Security says the agency will continue to increase the number of fast-track cases and expand the types of cases that can be run through the program’s computer model.