Growing fiscal and administrative challenges elevate the urgency for significant reform in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Further, an aging population places greater future stress on the already backlogged disability adjudicatory system. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has placed great emphasis on accurately and efficiently interpreting the definition of disability through initiatives to strengthen medical qualifications for long-term impairment. Medical evidence, however, is limited because medical professionals may diagnose and evaluate functionality at the time of examination, but long-term predictions are often unclear. While these limitations may be readily acknowledged in the medical and scientific community, they are not properly addressed in disability determination and thereby weaken the SSA’s ability to fairly adjudicate disability benefits.
This article demonstrates the limitations of medical evidence through stroke medicine. In the current population of the United States, stroke will further rise as a leading cause of adult disability. Research continues to show that medical professionals are not equipped to accurately meet the SSA’s guidelines for patient evaluation of long-term impaired functionality. Judicial and administrative interpretations of disability determination, notably Richardson v Perales (1971) and vocational testimony in the context of today’s growing initial claims and disability hearings backlog, further widen these guidelines. To better address accurate disability determination and meet a growing burden of disability, all aspects of the definition of disability – medical and vocational – must be considered under appropriate scrutiny.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/dixon_yang/1/