How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay
Do Disability Examiners make bad decisions, or do Social Security Judges?
In answer to this question, my own opinion is that the real problem is disability examiners and the system they work in. The Social Security Disability and SSI disability system is federal, but every DDS operates independently. And decision-making is not uniform, not even between units in a DDS.
I think the real problem is that DDS examiners have a disinclination to approve too many cases. This is because external quality control (in the Atlanta region, this was known as DQB, or disability quality branch) tended to send back as "returns", cases for which DQB found errors in decision-making on the part of disability examiners) and usually cases that had been marked for approval by disability examiners. Very seldom was a return a case that had been denied by an examiner. The effect was that approvals were suppressed.
I remember one case in which a person suffered second and third degree burns to 25 percent of their body. They had been discharged at one point by UNC hospital but had been readmitted because of renal failure subsequent to their injuries. Our unit manager forced the case to be denied. The unit medical consultant went along with the unit supervisor (how independent does this make the unit medical consultant then?) and the rationalization was that the level of stricture from the burns was not significant enough that it couldn't resolve within 12 months.
Completely wrong. That was a good example of unit supervisors exercising their influence on decision-making simply because they want to suppress approvals and reduce the potential for returns from external quality control, which makes them look bad to upper DDS agency management. In other words, state government employees subverting the system for their perceived career goals.
Given this, it is not surprising that Social Security judges reverse so many of these bad decisions. Judges do not answer to management. They are autonomous. And in being so, they re-introduce a level of fairness into the system since the state-run DDS agencies have the opposite effect. Which is why it is so disheartening to see attempts to paint all judges as being too lenient.
What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?
Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?
How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved
What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Receiving a Disability Award Letter
Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
Applying for disability in your state
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
The listings, list of disabling impairments
Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?
Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials
How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?
How to apply for disability for a child or children
Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application
Filing for disability - when to file
How to apply for disability - where to apply
Qualifications for disability benefits
How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits
Qualifying for Disability - The Process
How to get disability for depression
Getting disability for fibromyalgia
SSI disability for children with ADHD
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions
Social Security Disability SSI definitions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
New and featured pages on SSDRC.com
Who can help me file for disability?
Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability
What if application for disability is denied?
Do you have to go to a hearing to get approved?
Types of decisions by disability judges
Disability requirements and how to file in South Carolina
Rulings, decisions by disability judges
SSD, SSI, and medium, light, and sedentary work
What Does Social Security Consider To Be a Disability?
How many hours can you work if you are receiving Social Security Disability?
Medical conditions for which you can file and apply for disability
These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits
What Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Disability for a mental condition
Tips for Filing for disability
Financial Help Filing For Disability
Checklist for filing for disability, SSI or SSD
Qualifying for disability benefits, how to qualify for SSD or SSI
Filing a disability application: the steps
Disability award notice, how long it takes to get benefits
How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go?
What makes you eligible to get disability?
How to check my disability claim status?
Can a disability attorney speed up a disability case?
SSI disability Award Letter
How long to get approved for disability?
How to apply for disability benefits
How long does disability back pay take?
What are qualifications for getting disability?
What medical conditions can you file disability for?
Disability Lawyer help questions
Social Security Attorneys, Disability Representatives
For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com 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 SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.