The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) administrative appeals operation, under the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) is one of the largest administrative judicial systems in the world. ODAR is charged with analyzing disability claims, as they roll through the appeals process. SSA issues more than half a million hearing and appeal dispositions each year, and appeals judges render the agency’s final decision in over
100,000 cases per year.
As can be imagined, an enormous amount of data is collected for and about each appeal claim as it winds through the steps involved in filing, adjudicating, hearing, and the rendering of a final appeal decision, as required for each case. Approximately three years ago, SSA’s ODAR team started working to gain more intelligence from the data collected about each claim. “We wanted to know more about the policy errors that existed, and how to develop training and high quality feedback to reduce errors and better inform operational decisions,” said Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. As with any analytic feedback process, each adjustment made in the appeals process has led to new and better results. SSA’s ODAR now captures key claims data, visualizes the results, analyzes those results and
delivers feedback to managers and appellate judges, so the organization can change the policy, system, or advise personnel to take corrective steps based on what the data uncovers.
The ability to analyze large and complex data sets using case analysis tools, data visualization, clustering analysis and multiple variable models allows ODAR to efficiently tackle the complex challenges faced daily in adjudicating disability appeals. Overall, ODAR has gained more consistency and accuracy in the processing of all appeals, along with the ability to process more claims, more quickly as well.
Watch this webinar featuring Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, and Judge Gerald Ray, Deputy Executive Director, Office of Appellate Operations, to learn more about SSA’s hugely successful big data analytics program including how it works.