YOU HAVE QUESTIONS.
WE HAVE ANSWERS.
Here at Disability Help Center, our mission is to help the disabled community by connecting them with vital resources related to legal advice, health care, mental health assistance, physical rehabilitation, family care, food, and shelter and to act as advocates on their behalf. Here is a question that we hear often.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO MY INITIAL DISABILITY DETERMINATION?
Once your application arrives at the Disability Determination Services (DDS), your case is assigned to an examiner. That examiner will use the information provided in your application to see if you meet the criteria for disability benefits. The criteria you must meet are listed below.
1. Are you working at Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)?
Being able to work a small amount doesn’t automatically disqualify you from claiming disability. However, if you are found to be able to support yourself by working, you will be denied benefits. If your impairment keeps you from earning enough money to support yourself, then you pass this step.
2. Does your condition “meet or medically equal” the definition in the list of impairments?
If you can prove that you have met a listing, or if your conditions combined create problems which equal the listed conditions, then you will continue on to the next step.
3. Are you able to perform your past line of work?
If you can return to your line of work, you will not be given benefits. If you are found unable to return to your previous line of work, you will go to the next step.
4. Do your condition(s) and abilities allow you to do a different line of work?
This decision is somewhat up to the SSA and their experts to determine whether there is another line of work that you are able to do. Rather than only referring to your medical records, they will speculate regarding whether or not there are other jobs you can perform.