Social Security has sent out instructions for something called the Electronic Informal Remand Special Project 2012. This is an effort to select particularly strong disability cases in which a request for hearing has been filed and divert them to a special review by someone other than an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to see if it is possible to pay them quickly. It sounds a lot like informal remand projects of the past. and present. It is not clear to me whether there is anything really new about this. This may be old wine in new bottles.
The major problems with this sort of thing has been lack of personnel to do the reviews and, recently, a reluctance to approve anything other than the most gold-plated cases. We will see how this new process works.