You might hear people say “Social Security automatically denies your disability claim the first time you apply.” This is simply not true. When you submit your Disability claim in the Social Security office, your Social Security representative will spend about thirty days putting your application together. After the file is complete, your case is transferred to your State’s Disability Determination Agency. Social Security is not involved in the process of approving your initial Disability claim.
Once the State agency, Disability Determination Services (DDS), has your claim the examiner will typically take 120 days to make a decision on your case. This 120 day timeframe is an average, and DDS examiners do not have set time limits for processing your claim. If the State schedules an appointment for you to see a doctor your case could take longer than the 120 day timeframe. The examiners that work for the State agency are not doctors. They have criteria for evaluating the medical evidence you have submitted to decide if your disability qualifies you for approval. If they do not have sufficient medical evidence to support your disability the examiner will deny your claim.
If you have seen a doctor after filing your application and need to submit new evidence for your claim, you should contact the examiner at the State agency. A Social Security representative can look this person up for you and give you their contact information. To find out how to contact your examiner at the State agency, contact Social Security at their toll-free number.
When dealing with the State, remember it pays to be polite. You don’t want to alienate the examiner working on your claim. While this individual’s personal opinion of you should have no bearing on the approval of your claim, you will find cooperation and courtesy go hand in hand.