The idea I am submitting is not original. This idea and suggestion is one that has been voiced by plenty of others through the years. It is regarding claimant forms/questionnaires that we at DDS send on the majority of initial adult claims. ADLs and work history primarily. These required forms are a great source of delay and cause much additional work than should be done to accomplish this task. The FTC/FTR process is extensive and one way to reduce the number of claims that have to go through that process is to require ADLs/Work history forms be completed up front with initial application. When applying initially and submitting info to the local Social Security field offices. Similar to how there is a required function report completed with child claim applications. I realize not every state does things the same way and that there are different requirements and policy constraints between the federal and state side. I also know that whenever I have suggested anything that has to do with forms in the past, I have been shot down rather quickly and firmly. If it is a money thing, the money saved by having ADLs/Work history be required up front would far outweigh any additional cost form changes would incur. If it is a time thing, the time saved overall would far outweigh any additional time spent by the local field offices. This isn't even a form change so much but rather just a tweak in the process that helps ensure DDS has more of what it needs to make a timely decision. There could be exceptions, of course, for claims that are labeled TERI or Dire Need or other such identified situations where up front form completion is not feasible. If not this exactly, even some variation of this idea, or loosening of federal form limitations, would greatly benefit Social Security and customer service overall for our claimants.
Idea No. 161