What is Disability Determination Services?

DDS is the state agency where your Disability claim goes for an initial decision.

Important decisions about your claim are made at the agency for Disability Determination Services, but it is unlikely that you will ever step foot here.

After you submit your Disability claim to the Social Security Administration, it will be screened to ensure you meet basic requirements and then forwarded to a DDS agency in your state. Each state has at least one DDS facility and some have more. All are federally funded. A typical Disability Determination Services office has several hundred employees.

Your Disability claim (which includes your application and accompanying Disability forms) will land on the desk of a trained Disability claims examiner. The job of the examiner is to determine whether you are disabled under the law and if you qualify for SSDI or SSI.

The examiner will gather all of your medical records and obtain additional information about you, such as your work history and daily activities. The DDS examiner may also schedule you for consultative examination with a doctor or psychologist.

After an extensive evaluation, the Disability claims examiner will work with a medical and case consultant at DDS and come to a decision on your claim. A notice of the decision will be mailed to you.

Many people are surprised to learn that the majority of initial claims evaluated by DDS ― more than 65 percent ― are denied. The reasons for denial vary, but are they often the result of a poorly prepared claim or insufficient medical evidence.

Fortunately, there is an avenue for appeal and many people get approved later in the Disability process ― either after another DDS evaluation or after a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.

Your best shot of getting approved by DDS during the initial application stage is to let a professional handle your Disability claim. The experienced Social Security Disability lawyers and staff at McDonald Law Firm will gather all the crucial information, fill out the application for you and submit a thorough, persuasive claim on your behalf. If you need to appeal a denied Disability claim, we can take care of that for you also.

Statistics show that applicants who have legal representation are more likely to be awarded benefits than those who choose to handle it themselves. Call us today at 855-702-9061.

We hope you found this information helpful. Please visit our Disability FAQ page to see other questions like, “What is Disability Determination Services?

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