Topic Categories:

Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Requirements for Disability

Applications for disability

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Mistakes after a Denial

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

Disability Awards and Notices

Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions

Ask a question, get an answer

What does a Social Security Disability Examiner do?

The answer to this question depends on what level of the social security appeal system your particular claim happens to be at. If you have filed a disability application, then the decision on your claim will be made, principally, by a disability examiner.

What is a disability examiner? A disability examiner is a specialist who works at a state agency whose function is to evaluate disablity claims (both social security disability and SSI disability) for the social security administration. These state agencies are disability determination services. Each state has at least one DDS and some have several (North Carolina, for example, has a centralized system that uses one DDS, while South Carolina has a decentralized system that uses multiple DDS facilities).

What happens at DDS and what does the disability examiner do? DDS is where claims go after they have been opened in local social security offices. There at DDS, cases are assigned to disability examiners who have caseloads of pending claims.

Disability examiners are responsible for requesting a claimant's medical records from all the various medical treatment sources listed on the claimant's disability application. Getting the records, of course, can take quite some time in many instances.

However, once the records are received, the disability examiner will be responsible for evaluating them. This usually entails reading them and taking notes to ascertain whether or not the claimant meets the necessary qualifications to satisfy a listing in the blue book (the social security disability list of impairments).

The claimant's remaining physical and mental capabilities (in light of their various physical and mental conditions) is known as their RFC, or residual functional capacity. Residual functional capacity is expressed in terms of a rating, either physical or mental.

continued on part two: How does Social Security Disability decide that you cannot work?

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

What does a Social Security Disability Examiner do?
Can I Talk To the Disability Examiner Working On My Case?
How Does A Social Security Disability Examiner Determine a Personís Functional Limitations?
What happens if the Social Security disability examiner cannot find all the needed medical records?
How long does it take for an examiner to review a disability case?
Will the the SSA Examiner Call or Contact me about my Social Security Disability or SSI Claim?
What tools are used by a Social Security Disability Examiner to Make a Claim Decision?
After you file for SSD, the Disability Examiner may contact you for additional information

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria