Social Security Disability
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What does the State Disability Determination Services do?

Floridians seeking Social Security Disability will quickly learn that it is not a simple matter of filling out a few forms, gathering the necessary information and suddenly being approved for SSD benefits. There is a great deal that needs to be done, and done properly according to federal regulations, to be approved. It is important to understand the basics when seeking disability benefits, and that includes what various government entities do. That includes the State Disability Determination Services.

Alternatively known by the initials DDS, these agencies hold the responsibility for the development of medical evidence and making the initial determination as to whether or not the claimant meets the criteria to be considered disabled. The DDS will acquire the evidence from the medical sources who have treated the claimant. If that evidence is not available or is not sufficient for the DDS to make a decision, there will be a consultative examination scheduled. This examination will gather the necessary information the DDS needs in order to come to a decision.

The preferred source for the consultative examination is the treating physician for the claimant. But an independent source can also be used. Once this is completed, the DDS will make a determination as to whether or not the claimant qualifies. Two people working in tandem will make this decision. It will include a medical or psychological consultant, as well as a disability examiner. If the decision cannot be made without additional medical information, a medical source will be re-contacted to gather that information.

A claimant might be referred for vocational rehabilitation if that is applicable. Next, the case will be returned to the field office for the disability decision. If it is an approval, the case will move forward with the amount the claimant will receive to be decided upon as well as other issues. If it is denied, the claimant has the right to appeal.

These are just a few of the issues that a claimant will face when seeking SSD benefits. Because it can be so confusing, it is beneficial to have assistance from an attorney experienced in helping clients in pursuing disability benefits.

Source: socialsecurity.gov, “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, Part I — General Information — State Disability Determination Services,” accessed on Dec. 28, 2015

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