Disability Determination Services
Disability Claims Process
To receive SSI or SSDI benefits the claimant submits an application to the SSA in person, by telephone, by mail or by filing on-line. SSA Field office is responsible for verifying non-medical eligibility requirements.
The field office then sends the case to DDS for evaluation of disability. The case is assigned to a Disability Specialist. The DDS tries to obtain evidence from the claimant’s own medical sources first. If that evidence is unavailable or insufficient to make a determination, the DDS will arrange for a consultative examination in order to obtain the additional information needed. DDS considers the medical evidence and other information and makes a decision about whether or not the Social Security’s definition of disability is met.
The determination is made by a two-person adjudicative team consistent of a medical or psychological consultant and a disability examiner. After the DDS makes the disability determination, it returns the case to the field office for appropriate action depending on whether the claim is allowed or denied.