Friday, October 16, 2009



Social Security Disability Quality Review Board

Someone recently submitted the following question: "My case has been approved by dds, but has been sent to the Quality review board. Is this social securitys way of making sure that DDS did there job correct?".

The quality review board being referred to is something known as DQB, or disability quality branch. This is a facet of the social security administration that reviews cases that have been processed by disability examiners.

Officially, I suppose, the purpose of a DQB review is to ensure that the decisions made by disability examiners on social security disability claims and SSI disability claims are correct and proper.

However, it's the opinion of many disability examiners that there's more to it than that. Specifically what I mean is this: as a disability examiner, the returns (cases that are intercepted by DQB, reviewed, and then sent back to DDS, or disability determination services, to be worked on again) noticed by myself and other examiners tended to be cases that had been marked for approval, not cases that had been marked for denial.

In other words, there seemed to be a clear pattern that indicated that the social security administration was looking far more closely at cases that examiners had determined should be approved, and not as closely at cases that disability examiners had determined should be denied. And the only plausible reason for that seemed to be an agency slant toward saving money...which is another way of saying holding down the number of approved cases...which is another way of saying trying to deny more cases.

Should it surprise anyone that the social security administration might have a bias against approving claims? Not at all. In my own opinion, it is the manner in which the "social security disability quality review board" works that has a direct and immediate influence on how cases are decided in the various state DDS agencies. And, of course, there is the uncomfortable fact that higher-ups within the social security administration have actually advocated that the disability hearing appeal should include an SSA attorney, effectively turning the hearing level into something far less than an objective process and into an interest-based adversarial process.


Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog




Other Posts

Disability Benefits for Mental Illness (bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression)
Filing for Disability - SSD application tips
Filing for Disability - Tips for Filing a Disability Appeal
Why Does it Take Two Years to Get to a Disability Hearing?
Will you get Approved for Disability if you have an Open and Shut Case?
Denied disability claim - appealing the denial
Waiting for Social Security disability to be approved can be crushing

2 Comments:

Blogger Devon said...

Hey Tim,
I applied for ssi a few months ago and have a few q's. Before that, I should start by giving my back story. I have somewhat mild cerebral palsy which affects my whole right side, I can walk normally but if I walk any length of distance or stand up for a while my my legs start to hurt and ache. My right hand is weak and is really hard to grasp anything.. I also have a speech problem. I attend college as well. My Q's are, because im in college, will that affect my ssi case in any way?, when speaking of cerebral palsy, how disabled does one be to recieve ssi? and finally since i'm young, will that affect my ssi case?

9:37 PM  
Blogger Disability Blogger said...

Hi Devon, I addressed your comments here: Social Security Disability SSI and Cerebral Palsy

8:03 AM  

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