Applying For SSA Benefits: How Disability Is Determined For Disability Benefits?

Disability benefit is a handy economic aid and helps the disabled to a great degree. But it can, at times, be a little difficult to get hands over these aids. For, mere your thinking that you are disabled is not enough, the government should also share the same views with you. And until and unless it does, the exchequer will not release a penny.

The disability determination begins with the field offices of the Social Security Administration where one is supposed to file an application for disability benefit. One may approach the authorities on telephone, by mail or may simply fill and submit the form online.

The application form requires one to provide information about one's disability, treatment and other associated information. The field office then finds out if one fulfills the non-medical requirements for the benefits. For instance, one may be barred from getting the benefit due to old age. After having gone through it the field office sends one's case to any of the DDSs (Disability Determination Services) for an evaluation of the disability. These DDSs are funded and maintained by the government and are enjoined with the duty to find out if the claimant's disability is of the kind that makes him eligible for the benefit under the law.

The DDS's first source for such determination is the claimant's own medical sources. If the medical evidence provided by the claimant is insufficient for the determination of his case, the DDS goes in for Consultative Examination (CE) so as to obtain the missing information. Even for the CE, the DDS prefers the claimant's own sources but they may opt for the examination by an independent source instead. After the DDS is satisfied that the claimant's disability is serious enough, it sends the case back to the field office, after which the SSA computes the amount to be paid, and starts paying the benefits.

In case the claimant's case is not found fit for the disability benefit, the case is rejected, the file is closed and is kept in the field office for future reference if the need arises. A claimant may challenge the determination in appeal, in which he or she is given due hearing, and, if the need be, the case is reevaliated in order to ensure that no genuine claim is rejected.