Former commissioner of Social Security, Michael J Astrue, recently received the 2013 VIDA award from the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. The CEO of the organization said that Astrue’s “commitment to all communities has defined his life.” While he was in office, Astrue helped reduce the time applicants have to wait for their application to be processed. Some of the key factors that lead to faster processing of applications were the expansion of initiatives such as Compassionate Allowances and Quick Disability Determinations. The benefit of these two initiatives is that they reduce the wait time to days rather than months or years. This allows those with severe disabilities to obtain their Social Security benefits quickly. Over the last two years, over 300,000 people have received disability benefits under these initiatives. The award was received by Commissioner Astrue at the 40th Anniversary of the Organization. You can view the entire article here.