More than likely, you started your Social Security Disability (SSD) application online — or you worked with a claims representative in your local office to complete the application over the phone.
What happens next? Now that you’ve given the Social Security Administration (SSA) all of your information about your health problems, your doctors and your treatments and signed release forms, where does your file go?
In Mississippi, the file will usually go to Madison
Every state has its own Disability Determination Services (DDS). In Mississippi, the DDS is located in Madison, and it’s solely responsible for evaluating disability claims that were taken by all 23 SSA offices in the state — and it isn’t unusual for the agency to handle more than 80,000 claims per year. That’s largely why people wait so long for decisions.
Typically, this is what happens next:
- Your file is marked as received and then assigned to a Disability Examiner (DE).
- The DE will request your medical records from your physicians, hospitals, physical therapists and the like.
- The DE will also request additional information that can help illuminate your claim, including vocational information and statements from you about the limitations your condition imposes on your life.
- If your medical records are incomplete, unclear or contain conflicting information, the DE may arrange for a consultative examination with an independent physician, psychologist or both.
- Your completed file will be reviewed by a consultant (usually a physician) to get their expert recommendation about whether your claim should be approved or denied.
This all sounds rather efficient and organized, but a lot can go wrong with your disability claim at the DDS. Since the medical consultants who review disability files before they are approved are paid according to their productivity, they often rush through their work — and that causes thousands of people who are genuinely disabled to have their claims denied.
If your Social Security Disability claim is denied, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance.