RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation 4-1. The committee recommends that early in the redesign effort, the Social Security Administration should specify how it will define, measure, and assess the criteria it will use to evaluate the current disability determination process, as well as any alternative processes being developed.

Recommendation 4-2. The committee recommends that the Social Security Administration develop an alternative plan for use of functional assessment measures in the disability decision process in the event that the proposed global, standardized, functional assessment measure is not developed and tested in time for implementation.

Recommendation 4-3. The committee recommends that the Social Security Administration develop an interim plan for an occupational classification system in the event that the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database is either not completed or insufficient to meet the needs of a new disability decision process.

Recommendation 4-4. The committee recommends that the Social Security Administration conduct baseline studies on the role of the evaluation of vocational factors in the current decision-making process and the effects of these factors on the populations of claimants and beneficiaries.

Recommendation 4–5. The committee recommends that the Social Security Administration reconsider the timeframe for completion of the redesign research so that the necessary questions can be answered in an appropriately sequenced and coordinated manner.

Recommendation 4–6. The committee recommends that the Social Security Administration establish a cognitive laboratory for the Disability Evaluation Study, disability decision process research, and for other purposes of the agency.

Recommendation 4–7. The committee recommends that the Social Security Administration actively engage process engineering experts (such as industrial engineers, operations researchers) to evaluate and improve the Social Security Administration's disability benefits administrative process to assure that task assignments and participant roles achieve a maximum level of effectiveness and efficiency.

Recommendation 4–8. The committee recommends that the Social Security Administration develop plans for simulation and modeling of alternative disability decision processes and other policy options, and devote adequate resources for this activity.

Recommendation 5-1. The committee recommends that the Social Security Administration's research and evaluation staff and its extramural research program be expanded substantially.



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