March 15, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Local disability services offices keep benefits applications moving forward
Article provided by Reyes & Reyes Law Firm, PLLC
Visit us at http://www.reyesandreyesaustin.com
There is a little-known yet very valuable resource in Texas for people seeking federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits: the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services' Division for Disability Determinations Services (DDS).
What is the DDS?
The DDS is a state-level office that is funded by the federal Social Security Administration (SSA). The DDS works in tandem with the SSA to ensure that disability benefits applications keep moving forward instead of simply languishing.
How does the DDS process work?
The DDS process begins at the same place that all disability benefits applications begin: at the local SSA benefits administration office. Applicants must first submit an application for benefits with the SSA, who makes an initial determination about whether or not the applicant is legally eligible to request benefits. After a high-level determination is made about the validity of an application, it is transferred to the DDS and a local disability benefits specialist.
The DDS office will handle the "meat and bones" of the application process by working with the applicant to gather medical documentation to prove a disability, which can include either working with the applicant's care providers to acquire sufficient evidence or arranging for the applicant to be seen by an independent "consultative examiner" for the sole purpose of determining if a recognized disability exists.
Once sufficient documentation exists and the application process is complete, the local DDS has the authority under federal law to make the initial disability determination. The DDS assigns two-person teams - made up of one DDS case specialist and one medical or psychological consultant - that can either find that the applicant has sufficiently demonstrated that he or she has a recognized disability and meets the other eligibility criteria to receive SSDI or SSI benefits, or that the applicant will not be awarded benefits.
Like decisions made solely at SSA offices, the findings of a DDS team can be appealed if the applicant feels that the decision to not award benefits was unfair. Findings indicate that about 50 percent of initial disability benefits applications are denied, so appeals are very common.
If you are interested in filing an appeal of a denied application, you have the right to seek legal counsel. Consider speaking with an experienced social security disability attorney in your area to learn more about the appeals process, filing an appeal, resubmitting an application and other related topics that could impact your disability benefits award.---
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