The Disability Quality Branch is responsible for making sure that Social Security Disability examiners follow the correct procedures and policies in determining whether Social Security Disability claims should be approved. They essentially provide quality control for the Social Security Disability system.
Cases are pulled at random to be reviewed by the Disability Quality Branch. These claims include Social Security Disability claims which have been accepted and claims which have been denied. Roughly one in 100 claims is selected to be reviewed by the Disability Quality Branch.
If you are told that your claim has been pulled for further review, the Disability Quality Branch is looking it over. In and of itself, this has little bearing on whether your claim is approved or not. Some express concerns that the Disability Quality Branch is more likely to overturn or send back an accepted claim than a denied disability claim, but to date, the evidence for this is anecdotal.
What is certain is that a decision on your claim will be delayed if it is reviewed by the Disability Quality Branch. By the time they actually review your case and render a decisions, your case could be delayed by weeks. In some cases, the Disability Quality Branch takes several months before a case is fully reviewed.
Many within the Social Security Disability system speculate that the fear of having accepted claims overturned by the Disability Quality Branch (DQB) leads many examiners to deny claims rather than risk having their decisions sent back to them (this is seen as a negative mark within the Social Security Disability system if it happens often).
Unfortunately, claims may be sent back to Social Security Disability examiners (and this delayed significantly) for technicalities which may or may not have anything to do with the substantial issues of your claim. Of course, if your claim is denied by the Disability Quality Branch, you still have the right to appeal your claim and ask for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Administrative Law Judge’s rulings are not subject to Disability Quality Branch review.