Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Does the Social Security Administration use experts for determining disability?

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" while their official title is often specialist I, an examiner who only works on applications, or specialist II, 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.

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

Related pages:

Will a Social Security Judge give You an Immediate Decision at the Disability Hearing?
Basic Facts about the Administrative Law Judge Social Security Disability Hearing
Are the Chances of Winning Disability Benefits Higher at a Social Security Hearing with a Judge?
Winning at a Social Security Disability Hearing
Social Security Disability Hearings - what to expect
What happens when you go to a Social Security disability hearing?
Preparing for a Disability Hearing to Win Social Security or SSI Benefits
Presenting evidence at a social security disability or SSI hearing
How Long Does It Take To Get The Results Of A Disability Hearing?
Do Most People Have To Go To A Disability Hearing in order to Get Approved For Disability?
Can you be approved for disability without having to go to a hearing?
Waiting for a Hearing to be Scheduled before an ALJ, Administrative Law Judge
Vocational expert at a disability hearing - what is this?
Social Security Disability Hearings - What is the ALJ
How long will it take to get a decision on SSD or SSI after a medical examination?

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