Overview of Social Security Disability Claims
A Social Security disability attorney will advise you that it is not enough to be disabled to get benefits, You must also prove that you are disabled, using government definitions, rules, and often a government-selected doctor. This federal insurance program is run by the state so expect red tape and legal hurdles.
Eligibility is open to those who have paid into the system through taxes, along with some of their dependents. To qualify, a disability must be demonstrated with medical symptoms and tests. If you are disabled the Social Security Administration (SSA) will probe your condition in detail and require full contact information for all of your doctors and healthcare providers often going back several years. The government will also verify details about your education, employment, residency, etc.
State and Federal Government Roles
The Connecticut Bureau of Rehabilitation Services’ Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency will review your application and medical records and may send you to their own doctor. The agency decides whether you, the claimant, are legally blind or disabled. The law defines a disability for an adult (in part) as a medically determinable impairment that prevents you from engaging in gainful activity for at least 12 consecutive months. The program covers a list of specific medical conditions and criteria.
If the state DDS office finds that you are disabled and allows your claim, the paperwork goes back to the federal field office to calculate the benefit payment amount. If your claim is denied, it also goes back to the field office because you can challenge that decision in a formal appeal, which starts the process over again. In addition, you can appeal the appeal. The second appeal usually involves a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) where all medical details are reviewed and doctors and vocational experts may testify: What is your diagnosis and treatment plan? Have you been following doctors’ orders yet remain disabled? Those are some of the specifics that the ALJ looks at carefully. Each step of the way you can provide more evidence to back up your claim.