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

Who is the DDS Doctor, i.e. the Social Security Doctor?

The Social Security doctor, the "DDS doctor", is the medical consultant who works in the same case processing unit at DDS (disability determination services, where disability claims are handled for the social security administration) as the disability examiner who has been assigned to work on a Social Security Disability claim or SSI claim.

Officially, their title is usually medical examiner or medical consultant. To be a medical consultant, an individual must be a physician with an M.D. degree and license. Very often, the doctors at DDS are physicians who have retired from their regular practice and are now significantly older.

What does a medical consultant do on a disability case? After a disability examiner has completed his or her evaluation of the case (which includes gathering and reviewing the claimant's medical records, speaking with the claimant about their daily activities, and reviewing the claimant's relevant work history), they will typically write a synopsis of the pertinent facts of the case and also complete what is known as an RFC, or residual functional capacity form.

A physical RFC form will be completed if the claimant's conditions are physical in nature and a mental RFC form, or MRFC, will be done if the claimant's conditions are mental in nature. Very often, of course, a case will require both types of forms.

RFC forms basically describe the specific limitations that a claimant has as a result of their medical condition. And when a disability examiner completes these forms, they are setting the stage for a decision to be made on the case. Based on how the claimant's condition is rated on the RFC form(s), and based also on what the requirements of the claimant's past jobs were, the case may be approved, or the disability case may be denied.

Because so much hinges on the accuracy of a completed RFC form, the social security administration generally requires disability examiners to have their RFC forms reviewed by a medical consultant and/or a psychological consultant.

Basically, this is what happens: the disability examiner will go in to the office of one of his unit's consultants after the consultant has had the opportunity to review the claimant's medical records as well as the work done thus far by the examiner. If the consultant agrees with the assessment of the examiner, they will "sign off on it". If not, the examiner may be asked to give further consideration to the facts of the case.

The purpose of using consultants is to help ensure that disability examiners adhere to sound decision-making and also to make sure that each case is ultimately reviewed by someone who is not just a case-processor but who has medical or mental training.

DDS doctors are not to be confused with the doctors who perform independent consultative examinations (called CE for short) for the social security administration.

Essential Questions

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?

Related pages:

What is DDS, or Disability Determination Services?
What is the state disability agency (DDS, Disability Determination Services)?
Who is the DDS Doctor, i.e. the Social Security Doctor?
Disability determination services in North Carolina
Can I get disability based on my high blood pressure and my age?
Can I be in school and apply for disability?
How do you get meds in the two wait for Medicare after an Approval for Disability?
If you apply for disability in in Georgia
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Georgia?

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

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

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.