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Liz McLaren Pens NCDDD Introductory Letter to Commissioner Saul.

June 24, 2019

The Honorable Andrew Saul

Commissioner of Social Security

Social Security Administration

900 Altmeyer Building

6401 Security Blvd.

Baltimore, MD 21235

Dear Commissioner Saul:

The National Council of Disability Determination Directors (NCDDD) would like to welcome you as the new Commissioner of Social Security. We appreciate your commitment to the disability programs. We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with you and your team for the enhancement of quality public service and program stewardship.

As you may know, NCDDD is a voluntary professional organization for the Directors and managerial staff of the Disability Determination Services office located in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Our goals focus on ensuring accurate, timely, and cost-efficient decisions for people who apply for disability benefits, or whose continued medical eligibility for benefits is under review.

These are particularly challenging times for the DDS’s. We hope to contribute our perspective and areas of expertise proactively to help the agency find solutions to the issues facing the disability program. We believe strong federal/state collaboration can be instrumental in planning the best strategies and implementing them in the best ways for the public we serve.

Our major concerns involve budget and resources, especially the budget shortfall that underfunds the DDS’s. We are concerned with inconsistent and insufficient hiring authority. In addition, the DDS’s need modernized technology resources and policies that align with the expectations of the public. Finally, we require a disability case processing system that meets the needs of our staff so they can accomplish the work of processing disability cases timely for this vulnerable population.

We know you share these concerns and we appreciate all that SSA does to secure adequate resources. Recognizing this is a busy transition period for you and your team, the NCDDD leadership would like to meet with you as soon as it is feasible. We look forward to sharing ideas and information from our front-line perspective that could be useful to you, and to discuss with you how we can maintain and strengthen our federal/state partnership to best serve the American people.

Congratulations on your new position. I look forward to working with you and your team.

Respectfully submitted,

Liz McLaren

Liz McLaren

NCDDD President

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