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The 60 Summits

  ACOEM Guideline:

Preventing Needless Work Disability by Helping People Stay Employed

Meeting Center

"Use of Functional / Vocational Expertise" Project -
Commissioned in 2006 by the Social Security Administration

In 2006, SSA sought expert advice on how to make the best use of functional and vocational expertise in the disability determination process, with the objective of increasing the accuracy and speed of decision-making and facilitating return to work when possible.

Webility Corporation partnered with SSDC to do this project.  The project team:

  • developed a set of briefing papers and preliminary ideas for recommendations,
  • assembled a panel of 20 experts in key related fields and worked with them over several months to develop a shared understanding of key issues and explore possible recommendations,
  • convened a two day panel meeting to complete discussion on the ideas and draft recommendations,
  • worked with the panel afterwards to refine the recommendations, and
  • prepared the final report.

Core Report: Expert Panel's Recommendations

Assumes familiarity with SSA's disability determination process; includes recommended criteria for functional / vocational experts.

Supplemental Report

a.  Design Details for the Multi-Dimensional Assessment

Provides more detail about one of the recommendations made in the Core Report.

b.  The Nature of Functional and Vocational Expertise *

Describes the tasks that demand this kind of expertise and why, how the expertise is developed, and provides information about the professions / specialties within which it is most likely to be found.

c.  Use of Functional and Vocational Expertise in Other Systems

A brief review of this issue in the US workers' compensation and private disability insurance industries, US Veteran's Administration and Department of Defense.

Background Paper

Summarizes SSA's disability determination process and the system's claim volumes and outcomes.  This was the project team's internal orientation document for the expert panelists -- not produced for SSA.

* Especially recommended

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