Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Office of Medical and Vocational Expertise

The Office of Medical and Vocational Expertise (“OMVE”) provides expert advice and supports the disability determinations process of the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). The OMVE oversees medical, psychological, and vocational experts who assist the various units within the SSA that can approve Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits.

The SSD backlogs at the hearing offices have led them to refer cases to the OMVE for an expedited review, which could include additional evidence development. I have had an increasing number of claims transferred to the OMVE this year, which is part of the SSA’s attempt to reduce backlogs. The transfers have always involved older applicants.

Upon transfer, the OMVE asks for additional evidence. I try to provide something new to help the OMVE justify an approval. The Baltimore OMVE approved a case today for a 56 year old former warehouse stock clerk after I submitted a report from the claimant’s podiatrist. I had already submitted reports from the claimant’s neurologist, orthopedist, and chiropractor.

The OMVE has approved about the half of my cases transferred to it. I have not submitted additional evidence each time. However, each time that I have submitted new evidence, the OMVE has approved the claim.

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