What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Does the Social Security Administration use experts for determining disability?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
It depends on what you mean by "experts". For example, the individuals who work to process social security disability and SSI claims at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels are called "disability examiners" (I am a former disability examiner myself) while their official title is often specialist I (for an examiner who only works on applications) or specialist II (for an examiner who works on reconsideration appeals and continuing disability reviews (the type of reviews that are done periodically for people who were previously approved for benefits).
Disability examiners make decisions on cases. However, they are also assisted in this process by medical doctors and psychologists who are part of their case processing units. It basically works in this fashion: the disability examiner gathers the claimant's medical records, evaluates them, and comes to a conclusion as to whether or not the case should be approved. Then the disability examiner consults with his unit's medical consultant (an M.D.) to see if this physician concurs.
In the case of mental impairments, the disability examiner will visit his or her case processing unit's psychological consultant. This individual is usually a Ph.D. level psychologist. And, as with the medical consultant, this individual must also agree with the disability examiner's assessment of the case before a final decision can be made.
Are there other "experts" who work on disability claims? Yes, in fact, there are specific experts that are called by disability judges to provide testimony at hearings. These are known as medical experts and vocational experts. These individuals, as opposed to the other types of individuals we just mentioned, are not employees of social security. Instead, they are given compensation to show up at hearings and provide expert testimony which can affect the outcome of a case. Hearing experts are another reason why it is wise to be represented at a disability hearing because their testimony can decide the fate of a disability claim.
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Topics and Questions
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials