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How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
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What is the Social Security Disability decision making process in Illinois?



 
Generally speaking, the decision making process works like this: a disability examiner at disability determination services (the state agency that handles medical determinations for Social Security Disability, ssi, and even medicaid cases) will request your medical records. Once those records are received, the disability examiner will begin to do a write-up of your case.

In one sense, the write-up is a synopsis of the more noteworthy elements found in your medical records. In another sense, the write-up may be seen as a justification for the decision that will, ultimately, be made on a case. I say ultimately because, as most insiders know and realize, the disability examiner does not have the final say on the case, and the final write-up may or may not be the original opinion of the examiner.

Following the examiner's write-up, the examiner will "consult" with the relevant specialist assigned to his working unit. DDS units have a medical consultant (an M.D.) and a psychological consultant (typically a Ph.D, though sometimes this function may be handled by a psychiatrist who is an M.D.) assigned to them and the examiner will need to consult with one or both of these individuals depending on the claimant's particular impairments (for example, depression, back pain, panic attacks, ms, etc).

Resources:

1. How many Social Security Disability cases are approved for back pain?
2. SSD AND SSI Disability Benefits and Back Pain
3. Social Security Disability SSI and back pain from Degenerative Disc Disease

Usually, this consultation occurs in this manner: the examiner will deliver the file and write-up to the consultant's office, the consultant will review the file and the examiner's write-up, and the consultant will return the file and write-up to the examiner either agreeing or disagreeing. In any event, the consultant's opinion is typically the final word on the case and will dictate the outcome, i.e. an approval or denial.

Sometime after the decision is made, of course, the claimant will receive either a notice of approval or a notice of denial. If the decision is a denial, the disability applicant may choose to file an appeal, and, ultimately, the case may go before an administrative law judge in Illinois.








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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.