Social Security Disability RC

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Disability Requirements, Disability Status
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Social Security Disability list of impairments
How to Qualify for Disability, Mental Disability
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Why does Social Security or DDS disregard my doctor's statement supporting my case?

The answer to that is a little complex. Disability examiners at DDS, or disability determination services, operate in a very different environment from disability judges at the hearing offices. Examiners have supervisors and supervisors tend to hold down the number of approvals that are made in their case processing units.

Why does this occur? Because the disability quality branch tends to focus much more on approved cases than denied cases making approvals more likely to come back as "returns" to a state's DDS agency, thereby creating an incentive for supervisors to hold down the number of disability claim approvals.

I think that this fact contributes in some cases to physician statements being disregarded. However, to be truthful, in some cases those physician statements do not say what needs to be said. I have seen many physician statements simply state "my patient is disabled". That sort of statement is completely useless on a disability claim.

A supporting statement needs to be detailed, and specifically list the ways in which a person is limited; for example, how long can they sit or stand, how much can they lift frequently or occasionally, do they have difficulty reaching, bending, stooping, etc? That is the type of information that the Social Security administration is actually looking for. They want to know how a person's condition actually affects them on a daily basis with regard to what they can and cannot do.

This kind of information can be captured, and can help to win a case, on something known as a medical source statement.

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For the sake of clarity, is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.