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How The Determination Process Works


  1. The determination process starts when you contact Social Security.
    1. At first contact, Social Security asks for your Social Security number and reviews a few basic facts to determine whether you seem eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
    2. If you meet the minimal requirements, an appointment with a Social Security representative is set.
    3. The date for the appointment is expedited, as is the rest of the process, if you let Social Security know you that you have a terminal illness or if your condition is on a specific list of ailments.
  2. At the appointment, the representative takes your work and medical information.
  3. When all the paperwork is complete and it is determined you have satisfied the necessary work requirements, your file is sent to the state Disability Determination Section (DDS).
  4. At DDS,
    1. Your case is assigned to a disability claims examiner.
    2. The examiner looks to see what medical evidence you have supplied.
    3. The claims examiner contacts all medical sources to obtain any missing medical evidence, if any. You may be contacted to supply additional information. You may be asked to visit another doctor at no cost to you if there is not enough medical information.

When all the medical information has been received, your status is determined by a two person team consisting of a medical or psychological consultant and the disability examiner. The team asks a series of questions in sequence. To see the set of questions, see How Does DDS Determine Whether You're Disabled?

You are notified in writing when your case is approved or denied.

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