Review of the Social Security Administration's Disability Decision Process Research
The study will review and provide advice on the scope of work, design, content of the survey, and the approach and scientific methods of completed and planned research as the Social Security Administration (SSA) develops the new disability decision process. The study will focus on the population 18–69 years of age. Although the committee is given latitude in setting its own agenda and designing its plan of work, the topics it explores will include:
Review of the research plan and timeline for developing a new decision process for disability;
Review of the preliminary design of the Disability Evaluation Study (DES) research efforts, the scope of work for the DES, and the design and content of the survey, as proposed by the survey contractor, as well as SSA's plans to integrate the decision method and DES research effort, identifying statistical design, methodological and content concerns, and other outstanding issues;
Examine the results of completed research including research into existing functional assessment instruments and subsequently identified research for SSA's redesign efforts, and provide advice for adopting or developing functional assessment instruments or protocols for the redesigned disability process and the DES in particular; and
Assess the results and findings of the research undertaken by SSA, comment on future research proposals, and offer advice on the analysis of the consequences of alternative disability determination processes. Some of the topic areas that might be considered include functional assessment of work-related limitations of physical and mental impairments; disability decision processes (including screening mechanisms); testing and validating decision processes for determining disability; and age, education, and work experience.