Social Security to launch new disability claims system

Social Security to launch new disability claims system

The Social Security Administration next month plans to launch a new system to speed the processing of disability claims.

As part of the planning, the agency noted in yesterday's Federal Register that it might disclose identifiable personal information gathered by the Accelerated Electronic Disability System (eDIB) to other government and consumer reporting agencies.

'We do not anticipate that the proposed system of records will have an unwarranted adverse effect on the rights of individuals,' SSA Commissioner Jo Anne Barnhart said. The data disclosures are necessary to ensure quick claims resolution, she said.

The goal of eDIB is make the disability claims process as paper-free as possible. Now, SSA receives claims information in a variety of format'some electronic, some not'and converts all the information to paper files that it ships back and forth between the SSA and state disability offices responsible for developing and adjudicating the claims.

Claims representatives, disability examiners, quality assurance reviewers, hearing clerks and judges use the paper file while reviewing the evidence for a claim, with more paper added at each review stage.

The eDIB system will electronically collect, transfer, access and process disability claims information. It has multiple components:

  • Internet applications for filing claims

  • Electronic disability data collection system

  • Electronic folders that store electronic versions of all information, including files previously kept on paper, and make the data accessible to all users

  • Automated case processing and management system with an interface to the electronic folders.

To protect the personal data, SSA said it will use privacy and security safeguards when handling identifying information about claimants, applicants and beneficiaries for disability benefits and payments. For example, the agency noted that only authorized SSA personnel who have a need for information to perform their jobs will be permitted access to that information.

Additionally, each SSA employee who has access to databases maintaining personal information must sign a document annually acknowledging accountability for the information. Contractor personnel having access to data in the eDib Claim File will also be required to adhere to SSA privacy and security rules, the agency said.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.


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