Friday, September 15, 2006

How fast is DSI becoming effective in the first six states?

The Social Security Administration’s new "Disability Service Improvement (DSI)" initiative was set to start August 1, 2006 in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It may have been significantly delayed. Here’s why we say this:

o SSA seems to not to canceled the Disability Redesign Prototype procedure in one of the DSI states - New Hampshire - until August 10, 2006, ten days after the scheduled date of DSI roll out. Until that time there was uncertainty whether New Hampshire would use DSI procedures exclusively, or some hybrid composed of DSI and the Prototype. (Federal Register, August 10, 2006, page 45890)

o SSA took its time advertising the job of Chief Federal Reviewing Official (a key DSI boss). The federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) began advertising on July 26, 2006, and accepted applications through August 23 - three weeks after the published roll out date for DSI.

Ultimately, SSA intends that DSI will become the exclusive disability decision and appeal process. They plan to test it for at least a year in the six Northeastern states, and then extend it across the nation.

For details of the DSI intiative, see the Federal Register, March 31, 2006, p. 16424.

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