What happens after you file for Social Security Disability benefits? After you file an application online or at the Social Security office the Social Security Administration (SSA) sends your file to the Disability Determination Section (DDS). DDS is not part of the SSA, but SSA contracts with them to develop and process Social Security Disability applications.
DDS will contact any doctors you list on your Disability Report and ask them to send your medical records to DDS. You will also receive forms to complete from DDS which may include a Work History Report, a Function Report, a Pain Questionnaire or others. DDS may send you out for an examination by a medical doctor or a psychologist or psychological examiner. DDS may order an x-ray or a pulmonary function test. They will NOT order an MRI or a CT scan.
Once DDS has received medical records from your doctors and reports back from doctors they’ve sent you to, they will have other people at DDS review your file. These will include their own medical doctors, psychologists, and vocational experts. Their doctors will look at your medical records and decide what your residual functional capacity is, meaning what are you able to do based on your physical and mental conditions.
Vocational experts at DDS will look at what you are still able to do and decide whether or not you are able to do any of the jobs you’ve done in the last 15 years. If you’re not able to do those jobs the vocational experts may look at whether or not there are any other jobs you can do.
If you are 55 years old or older and if you are not able to do any of the jobs you’ve done in the last 15 years you may be found disabled. If you are under the age of 50, you have to prove that you are not able to do ANY job.
If you’re interested in filing for Social Security Disability benefits or your application or appeal has been denied, please contact me for a free case evaluation.