What are Disability Determination Services and What Do They Do For Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income Claims?

Posted April 1, 2021

When people apply for Social Security disability, they enter into a three-step process designed by the federal government to process their claims. The first step is an initial application, the second step is a reconsideration if an award of benefits was not made at the initial application, and the third step is requesting a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, which can be done in person, by video, or over the phone.

Disability Determination Services refers to those components of the Social Security Administration that determine whether a claimant qualifies for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits at one of the first two stages – i.e., either at the initial application or the reconsideration level.

At these first two levels, it is the job of the individuals deciding the claims to compile the medical records, schedule examinations with Social Security doctors, and obtain opinions from other specialists to determine an individual’s eligibility for benefits. Social Security often employs a component of the state in which you reside to help review your claim.

These first two levels (the initial stage and reconsideration) are particularly important to disability claims and their development. It is imperative that any new medical evidence or other evidence that would enhance the claim be provided to Disability Determination Services to assist in their decision-making and improve your chance of winning at these levels.

How Experienced Social Security Attorneys Can Help Your Case

During these steps, we often obtain written reports from our clients’ doctors or have forms filled out that we have developed which mirror the Social Security regulations so that these individuals get a full picture prior to making the decisions.

We have found taking these steps has led to a higher percentage of cases winning in those first two levels.

If you or someone you know has questions about or needs help pursuing Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income, don’t hesitate to contact Drummond Law for a FREE consultation by calling (800) 842-0426.


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