Boise, Idaho – Our disability attorneys are committed to making certain you are kept updated on the status of your claim as well as assisting you in making the best decisions for your case. Our Boise Social Security Attorneys realize that it is important for you to understand the process associated with applying for Social Security disability. We feel that you will be better prepared when you are aware of what the process entails. An important entity for you to understand is the Social Security Determination Services office (referred to as the “DDS”). Each state has their own DDS.
Your local Social Security Office accepts disability applications, and then they pass them off to the DDS where the decision is made as to whether you are disabled. If your claim is denied or you file any subsequent initial claims, the DDS office will decide your claim.
Medical examiners are responsible for reviewing all cases. They are usually employed by the DDS to decide whether or not a person meets the eligibility requirements for SSA disability. Understanding the process can prove to be very beneficial during this period of time. This can make the process of gathering the medical information needed for the examiner easier as well as help you catch potential errors that may have been made at the busy DDS office. Our Social Security attorneys will guide you through the steps necessary to complete this process.
The DDS often denies claims when the medical condition has a limited treatment history and uncertain outcome, such as when your condition could improve. This often applies to claimants with a history of heart attack or surgery. It’s unknown whether they’ll successfully complete treatment. In this situation, the DDS will deny the claim to determine if the condition will improve or if you will be permanently disabled.
Once your claim reaches the medical examiner, they will gather medical records and additional material from you and your doctor(s). Materials may include medical treatment notes, past relevant work history, educational background, and consultative examination reports. It’s important that you see a doctor (also called a medical treatment source) that meets SSA standards. For information on what is an acceptable medical source, view the article entitled Acceptable Medical Sources. If they determine you haven’t visited a doctor within the previous three months, you’ll likely be sent for a consultative exam to gather more information regarding your physical and mental state.
The medical examiner will provide your medical history to the doctor that conducts your consultative exam to help him better understand the nature of your disability and its level of severity. This does not mean that the doctor will read it.
After all your medical records are reviewed, a decision is made as to whether you are disabled.
The regulations set forth by the SSA specifically stipulate that medical examiners cannot, under any circumstances, issue a decision without obtaining and reviewing your treating doctor’s notes. If you don’t have a treating doctor, you can expect to be sent for a consultative exam.
The adjudicator will take your claim to a DDS physician for an evaluation of your medical records and an assessment of what your physical limitations are, unless your claim qualifies for a quick disability decision. The rules are somewhat different for quick disability determination cases, where the facts are not complicated and a clear outcome is evident. In this type of case, an examiner, acting independently, can approve a claim without any physician review.
Unfortunately, the majority of initial claims are denied when evaluated by the DDS. It is very likely that your case will have to be presented before a judge at a disability hearing prior to your benefits being approved. Our Social Security attorneys in Boise, Idaho are eager to assist you in preparing the best case that is most likely to result in the judge determining that you are disabled.