In 1999, SSA launched the Single Decision Maker (SDM) program—authorizing disability examiners to process some cases without a medical consultant’s sign off. The objective was to shorten the determination process, without degrading accuracy. Twenty case processing offices have had SDM authority for the past 16 years. In this issue brief, the Board notes that SSA has not generated sufficient data to adequately evaluate whether the SDM program should terminated or expanded to all offices.
UPDATE: As part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, the Congress directed SSA to end Single Decision-Maker authority.