SSA Disability Sites

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January 13, 2007

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Disability Team

After you complete your disability application, social security will review it to see if you meet the requirements for Supplemental Security Income (SSI or Title XVI) or Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI or Title II or DIB). If you meet these requirements, social security sends your application to the disability determination services (DDS) office in your state. Under contract with the Social Security Administration, each state DDS determines if your medical condition is considered a disability under the Social Security law.

The disability decision is made in the DDS office, with a 2-person team that consists of a physician (or psychologist) and a disability examiner who will consider the facts in your case and decide if you are disabled. They will use the medical evidence from your doctors, hospitals, clinics, or institutions where you were examined or treated. If the DDS team needs more medical information to decide your case, DDS will send you to have a special examination called a consultative examination.

When DDS receives your claim, it is assigned to a disability examiner who works directly with a medical consultant to determine if you are disabled and, if so, the date that your disability began (or, in the cessation or termination of benefits, the date the disability ended). Disability examiners prepare the case file and perform most of the evaluation but they must consult with the medical consultant on medical equivalence and residual functional capacity (RFC).

The medical consultant is a physician who is retained on a consultative basis to review files and assess the level of severity in each case. Medical consultants determine whether you meet or equal the level of severity set out in the Listings of Impairments.

Denise

Who decides if an impairment meets the Listing?

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