Disability Determination Services and Social Security Disability ClaimsPosted July 20, 2018 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®
There is an agency in every state that employs disability claims examiners who decide the disability claims for Social Security and Medicaid cases for all applicants of that state. In many states, the agency is called “Disability Determination Services,” or DDS, but the agency goes by various names. For instance, Florida calls its agency the Division of Disability Determinations (DDD), California calls it the Disability Determination Service Division (DDSD), and Pennsylvania calls it the Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD). All states have at least one office for the disability determination agency and some states — those that have chosen a “decentralized system” — have several.
The disability determination agency is the state-level agency whose basic task is determining the eligibility of disability applicants (claimants) to receive monetary disability benefits or benefits from the state’s adult Medicaid program. Examiners at DDS decide both Social Security Disability Insurance claims and Supplemental Security Income disability claims. DDS is where the question of medical eligibility for disability is resolved at both the initial application and reconsideration levels.
When your file arrives from a Social Security office, it is assigned to a disability claims examiner. The examiner immediately begins to order medical records from all of the doctors’ offices, hospitals, and other medical providers that you listed on your application. The disability examiner may call you for more information about your work or medical history. Alternatively, the examiner may send you a questionnaire form that you need to fill out and return. The examiner will usually ask questions to clarify the details of information that you included on your disability application.
Once most of your medical records arrive at DDS, the examiner can begin to go about the task of deciding whether you will qualify for disability. The examiner will consider whether you are currently working, whether you suffer from at least one severe impairment, whether your condition(s) meet a disability listing, and, lastly, whether you are able to work full time according to the Social Security Administration’s rules. Typically, the vast majority of disability claims evaluated by DDS are denied, requiring disability claimants to have their cases heard by an administrative law judge at a disability hearing before they can be approved for benefits.
By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®