What is a Disability Evaluation Under Social Security?

If you apply for Social Security disability benefits you will have to go through a disability evaluation. A disability evaluation for Social Security is the evaluation the Social Security Administration uses to determine if you qualify for disability benefits. The SSA is not determining if you are actually disabled or not, just whether or not you fit the SSA’s requirements for disability benefits.

What is The SSA’s Disability Evaluation?

The SSA’s definition of disability is that someone is disabled if they have a medical condition that prevents them from substantial gainful activity, or earning money, because that condition is expected to result in death or it is expected to last at least 12 continuous months.

The SSA’s disability evaluation is designed to see if you meet this definition and if you meet the requirements in the SSA’s Blue Book. You must have a “medically determinable impairment” in order to qualify for SSA disability benefits. According to the SSA a “medically determinable impairment” is one that results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities that can be shown by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques. The medical evidence must establish that an individual has a physical or mental impairment; a statement about the individual's symptoms is not enough.

You will need to submit your application and evidence to the SSA. Then your application will go through an examination done by the Disability Determination Services office.

What Is The Disability Determination Process

When your application and evidence are submitted to the DDS office they will evaluate everything you submitted and verify your medical evidence with your medical providers. If they need more information to make a decision they may contact you or any of the medical providers listed in your application.

The DDS will weight all the evidence that you have submitted and consider factors like your age, your education, your experience, and whether or not there is some other type of job that you’re qualified to do. If they can’t find any other work that you could do and they are satisfied you have proved that you can’t do your current work any longer then your application may be approved.

If your application is not approved, you will be sent a denial and instructions for how you can file an appeal. If you file an appeal you should always amend your current application, don’t start a new one. If your claim is denied you should speak with a disability lawyer to find out how to increase the chances of approval.

Speak With a Disability Lawyer

A disability attorney can be a big help making sure that your application for disability benefits doesn’t get denied right away. A disability lawyer who has experience with disability cases can help you make sure that your application is complete before you submit it. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with a personal injury attorney who subscribes to the website and may be able to help with your case.