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Disability Determination Services in North Carolina

When you apply for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration or file an initial appeal because your application was denied, the document doesn’t always go directly to the main office. Instead, a series of state agencies, which are called Disability Determination Services, and various SSA field offices will receive the information. In North Carolina as well as in all other states, the SSA first makes a technical determination on your application and then transfers it to a local DDS. A disability examiner, at the DDS decides whether or not you are disabled.

If you file more than one appeal, then the outcome of your case may be determined by a DDS examiner or it may be determined by administrative law judges in the SSA’s Disability Adjudication and Review office.

What’s Determination Process Used by the DDS Examiner?

DDSs are federally funded agencies whose purpose is to render decisions on disability claims for the SSA, including Social Security Income (SSI) applications, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit applications and Medicaid for disabled adults.

When the SSA transfers your application to a DDS, your case will be assigned to a disability examiner. The examiner will review all your paperwork and medical data and try to determine if and to what degree you are disabled. He or she will have access to a small team of professionals to help make the decision, including a medical doctor and a psychologist. In the majority of situations, evidence must first be acquired from the person’s medical sources. However, if the information present is inadequate or not available to be used to make a determination, a consultative examination, or CE, will be arranged by the DDS. This is used to obtain any additional information that is needed.

At this point in the process, it is wise to have the services of an attorney. They can ensure all the information that is required is provided to the deciding office. In many cases, this can help to expedite your situation and help avoid the initial denial of your claims application.

The team will work together to determine your functional capacities and whether or not you are disabled, per the law’s guidelines. It usually takes the DDS three to four months after you file your application to make a decision. The DDS then will send your case back to the field office of the Social Security Administration so the proper action can be taken.

What If Mistakes Are Made in the Disability Decision-Making Process?

It is important to understand that no two disability examiners are alike, and despite the SSA’s guidelines, one examiner may have a completely different decision than another. If an examiner makes a mistake and your application for disability benefits is wrongly denied, you have the right to submit a Request for Reconsideration and continue to pursue your benefits. Before you request an appeal, however, you should consult with and also have your claim for disability benefits reviewed by an experienced disability attorney at Chad Brown Law.

Unfortunately, many first-time disability applications are denied by the Social Security Administration. In some situations, these denials have nothing to do with the person’s injury or why they are seeking benefits. In fact, there are a large number of applications that are denied solely because of clerical or technical issues. Don’t let this happen to you.

By hiring a Social Security disability attorney, you can have someone who understands how the process works, helping you during each step of the process. Regardless of whether you are applying for the first time or filing an appeal, the services of a lawyer can be invaluable.

Too many people wait months, or even years for a decision regarding their Social Security disability benefits. If you are tired of waiting, then you need to take action. Hiring an attorney is the best way to understand the process and what needs to be done to help your application be approved.

Do not hesitate to call us for help obtaining SSDI or SSI benefits. Our team can answer any questions you may have about benefits and help you navigate the application process. You don’t have to try and navigate the process alone; we are here to help you through this difficult time with our expertise. Call us today at (800) 556-9115 for a free consultation or contact us online.

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322 E Broad St. Street


NC 28687

(704) 992-3002

104 Broad St

Wilkesboro, NC 28697

(336) 818-9828