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Project Title:

Functional Assessment for Adults with Disabilities
PIN: HMD-HCS-17-03        

Major Unit:

Health and Medicine Division

Sub Unit: Board on Health Care Services

RSO: Spicer, Carol

Subject/Focus Area: Behavioral and Social Sciences; Health and Medicine


Project Scope
The task order objectives for the ad hoc committee are to:
1. Identify and describe key essential functional abilities relevant to work activity;
2. Discuss the relationship between the identified functional abilities and the occupational data gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its new Occupational Information System;
3. Provide findings and conclusions regarding the collection of functional information;

As a guide for literature review, information and data gathering, public sessions, discussions, deliberations, and report development, including findings and conclusions, the committee shall consider the following specific topics:

1. Identify and describe key essential functional abilities relevant to work activity
  • Provide an overview of the functional abilities an adult needs to meet the physical and mental demands of work, particularly for occupations that need little or no preparation;
  • Clarify the capacity to sustain physical and mental work activities on an ongoing and independent basis in the context of functional limitations;
  • Assess whether there are other factors outside of medically based factors that affect the degree of functional limitations;
  • Identify any quantifiable limitations that may preclude certain levels of work and give examples of the required evidence to demonstrate such limitations;
  • Identify activities of daily living that correlate with the physical and mental demands of work.

2. Discuss the relationship between the identified functional abilities and the occupational data gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its new Occupational Information System
  • Provide findings and analysis to inform the collection of information pertaining to mental and physical functioning that relates to the activities required of occupations that need little or no preparation to perform. These occupations are labeled as Job Zone 1 in the Department of Labor’s O*NET.
  • Discuss ways to link functioning to the requirements of occupations, including any tools that exist.

3. Provide findings and conclusions regarding the collection of functional information
  • Explain how limitations in key essential functional abilities are more or less associated with particular mental or physical impairments;
  • Describe the laboratory findings, signs, or symptoms of impairments that support findings of functional limitations;
  • Identify particular medical specialties and allied health fields that are likely to have the training and expertise to perform a functional assessment;
  • Identify tools that signify a functional assessment was performed, and how likely those reports are to be valid representations of a claimant’s functional limitations;
  • In the context of disability assessment, describe the progression of common disease processes in example impairments that cover the spectrum of essential work related functioning. These could include, but are not limited to back disorders, cardiac impairments, or depression.

    • Identify when that impairment progression affects an individual’s ability to perform basic work-related activities
    • Describe when significant changes in function may occur through the aging process for these examples, such as for adults with common age-related physical and mental impairments
    • Describe the efficacy of medications and other treatments on an individual’s ability to function for these examples, and whether that treatment causes its own subset of medical and/or psychological problems that negatively affect an individual’s functioning and how SSA could request an appropriate assessment of functional changes
    • Describe how the examples are similar to or different from other impairments

  • Provide an overview of the functional assessment processes in similar benefit programs (national and state government programs, and private sector programs;
  • Discuss whether generic functional assessment questionnaires that address a broad range of impairments and functional limitations are well-suited to collecting information on physical and mental limitations or if targeted impairment-specific questionnaires are of greater use;
  • Describe the best ways to determine the accuracy and validity of self-reported functional limitations, for example asking for input over the course of the claimant’s interactions with SSA and comparing for consistency;
  • Provide information about the reliability of functional assessment tools in measuring functional limitations;
  • Identify research-based computer-based functional assessments. Provide full descriptions including, but not limited to describing algorithms for measuring functioning. Discuss their practical relevance to evaluating ability to perform work activity.


The project is sponsored by the United States Social Security Administration.
The approximate start date for the project is August 1, 2017.
A report will be issued at the end of the project in approximately 21 months.


 
Project Duration: 24 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

Meetings
 Meeting 1 - 12/07/2017

Reports

Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office