How Doctors Determine if You Are Legally Disabled

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Filing for Social Security Disability can be a tough process and not just with the paperwork that is involved. There is a certain amount of hesitation for many people to admit that they may be considered legally disabled and then there is the waiting between when you submit your claim and when it is approved. Many times the first claim will be denied and you will have to start the process over again with new information or just fill in the gaps that were found in your claim. One of the most frequently asked questions about disability claims is how the doctors determine whether or not you are legally disabled and there are things that you should know such as what happens to your claim between when you submit it and when it is sent to Disability Determination Services (DDS), as well as what the DDS team does once they get the claim. You can find this information as well as much more on the Social Security website and through local government websites.

Before Your Claim is Sent to the DDS Doctors

When you submit your Social Security Disability claim you will usually not be submitting it directly to the team of doctors that make the determination. Social Security Administration field offices in your area will handle the initial claim and determine your eligibility based on nonmedical items such as how much you have earned in Social Security Insurance and how recently it was earned as well as things such as age and marital status. The field office will then send your claim to the Disability Determination Services office for a medical review.

The DDS Team and What They Do

The Disability Determination Services team that will be reviewing your Social Security Disability claim will be made up of a disability evaluation specialist and a physician or a psychologist. This team will pour over your medical records and any documentation that your doctors have been asked to provide to see if you meet the requirements to be considered disabled under Social Security law. The DDS team will keep five basic questions in mind as they review your case such as are you currently working, is your condition the list of disabling impairments, is your condition considered sever, can you continue to work in your field, and finally, whether or not you can work in a different field. All five of these questions work together to either approve or deny your claim.

If the DDS team approves your Social Security Disability claim then you will receive a letter stating this and listing the amount you will receive every month. If the team denies your claim you will be informed as to why and will usually be able to appeal the decision.

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