Social Security Disability Resource Center

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When does a case go to the Social Security Disability review board?

Someone recently submitted the following question: "My case has been approved by DDS, but has been sent to the Quality review board. Is this social security's way of making sure that DDS did their job correct?".

The quality review board being referred to is something known as DQB, or disability quality branch. This is a facet of the social security administration that reviews cases that have been processed by disability examiners.

Officially, the purpose of a DQB review is to ensure that the decisions made by disability examiners on Social security disability claims and SSI disability claims are correct and proper.

However, it's the opinion of many disability examiners that there's more to it than that. Specifically what I mean is this: as a disability examiner, the returns (cases that are intercepted by DQB, reviewed, and then sent back to DDS, or disability determination services, to be worked on again) noticed by myself and other examiners tended to be cases that had been marked for approval, not cases that had been marked for denial.

In other words, there seemed to be a clear pattern that indicated that the social security administration was looking far more closely at cases that examiners had determined should be approved, and not as closely at cases that disability examiners had determined should be denied. And the only plausible reason for that seemed to be an agency slant toward saving money...which is another way of saying holding down the number of approved cases...which is another way of saying trying to deny more cases.

Should it surprise anyone that the Social security administration might have a bias against approving claims? Not at all. In my own opinion, it is the manner in which the "social security disability quality review board" works that has a direct and immediate influence on how cases are decided in the various state DDS agencies.

And, of course, there is the uncomfortable fact that higher-ups within the Social security administration have actually advocated that the disability hearing appeal should include an SSA attorney, effectively turning the hearing level into something far less than an objective process and into an interest-based adversarial process.

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    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

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    These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

    How to file for disability, filing tips
    What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
    Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
    What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
    Will you get disability back pay?
    Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
    Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
    Social Security Disability SSI status
    Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
    Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
    Qualifications for Disability Benefits
    Important points about filing for disability
    How long does it take to get disability after applying?
    Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
    Who is eligible for SSI disability?
    How to get disability in Florida