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Who makes the decision on SSD benefits and how is it made?

When a person in Florida believes he or she has an illness, condition or impairment that warrants Social Security disability benefits, there will be numerous questions regarding the process. The most basic involve who it is that makes the decision for the Social Security Administration and how that decision is made. Understanding the facts regarding these important considerations might be keys to being approved.

The SSA will conduct a review of the claimant's application to ensure that the basic requirements are met. In addition, it is necessary to see if the applicant worked for long enough to be approved. Work activities will be evaluated as well. Once these requirements have been met, the application will continue to the Disability Determination Services office. The agency has medical professionals who will ask the claimant's doctors for reports about the medical issues. The facts will be assessed as they ask about the medical conditions. For example, the SSA will want to know when the medical conditions started, how they limit the activities the claimant is capable of doing, and treatments that have been given.

Whether or not a claimant can perform work-related activities will be considered. That includes the ability to walk, sit, lift, carry, and remember instructions that are given. It might be necessary to request more medical information before a decision is made. That might involve a special examination that must be conducted by someone other that the claimant's doctor.

A Social Security Disability decision will be made through five steps. They are whether or not the claimant is working; if the condition is deemed severe; if the impairment meets or is the medical equivalent of one that is recognized as a qualifying condition by the SSA; whether the work the claimant did before is still possible; and if it is possible to do any other kind of work.

When seeking SSD benefits, it is imperative that the basics are understood and the process is followed correctly. While the federal regulations are clear in trying to provide deserved claimants benefits and the medical requirements are of paramount importance, a clerical mistake when filing can undo what would otherwise be a viable claim. To avoid these mistakes, it is always a good idea to speak to an experienced Social Security attorney.

Source: SSA.gov, "Disability Benefits, pages 8-10," accessed on Oct. 12, 2015

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