RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


Comment on Social Security Disability Application
October 30, 2009

The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) is attempting to improve the success rate of Social Security Disability benefit applications for individuals with behavioral health needs. A committee of DPW Income Maintenance and Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) staff developed the Psychological Impairment Report with a goal of maximizing the success rate for individuals needing Social Security benefits. Essential information needed by SSA to make a determination is included in the document. The document is not written in recovery-oriented, people first language, but the information is presented in language recognized by SSA for use in disability benefit determinations. A psychiatrist must participate in the process and submit the report, but information may be collected by other individuals. The committee would like feedback on the format; ease of use; any changes that would improve the process, yet provide the essential information; suggestions about process from providers who have had success with disability determinations; and whether providers will support the improvement process.

PCPA members are asked to provide comment to:

Mary E.  Diamond, DO, MA, MPA
Chief Psychiatric Officer, OMHSAS
DGS Campus, Bldg 11, Rm 224
PO Box 2675
Harrisburg, PA 17105

Comments are needed by November 8 as the committee intends implementation by the end of November. Thank you for providing input to help improve the disability determination process. Contact Betty Simmonds with questions.


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