SSA seeks sources to digitize more documents for disability review

Case files travel lighter, faster

The Social Security Administration is seeking industry sources to provide image knowledge-based software to digitize more of the disability process for the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, which evaluates applications for Social Security disability benefits. The office reviews relevant documents, conducts hearings and awards benefits.

SSA needs a provider that can process document images from 145 hearing offices to conform with its electronic folder business process. The electronic folder is a secure, centralized online repository of medical and other disability data, which allows several people to work on a case simultaneously. Many of the tasks related to documents, however, are still performed manually.

Image knowledge-based software would automate more of the process. The workload involves 550,000 cases annually with about 300 document images per case. The vendor would develop and test a plan for the functionalities for integration into the Electronic Disability System architecture. Responses are due April 4, according to a posting on FedBizOpps.

The provider must be able to analyze scanned document images that are stored using TIFF and extract information and data from the images to build a knowledge base of information, classify the document images into categories and subcategories and be able to separate document images to avoid multiple images from being inappropriately scanned, stored and treated as a single document image.

The document images may be any combination of multiple known forms and/or multiple free format text documents, SSA said. This includes document images that already exist within SSA’s unstructured data repository, where there is some document separation and classification information.

Among other capabilities, the vendor would need to access stored metadata in the electronic folder using application programming interfaces to organize the document images.

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