How does Social Security decide if I am disabled?

After taking your Social Security disability application, either SSDI or SSI, your case will be transferred to an agency called Disability Determination Services (DDS). A DDS Claims Examiner will seek to obtain your medical records, and your case will be reviewed by a DDS doctor who will decide if you meet the criteria to be considered disabled.

To be considered disabled:

  • You must be unable to do the work you did before, and Social Security must decide that you cannot adjust to any other work which exists in the regional or national economy because of your medically determinable physical or mental impairment.
  • Your disability must last or be expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

Again, there are many permutations and ways to interpret these general rules, so contact the trusted and experienced attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush.

Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability; however, factors such as your age, education, literacy, and the type of work you did in the past are all factors which impact the decision of whether you will be considered “totally disabled.” For instance, if you did heavy work in the past, but now you are limited to light work, you may be found totally disabled even though you can perform light or sedentary work. For adults, Social Security uses a five-step evaluation process to decide whether you are disabled under Social Security law.

Call Marasco & Nesselbush for more information about the complex analysis of whether you meet Social Security’s criteria for disability.