At the initial stages of the Social Security Disability (“SSD”) application process, the Social Security Administration relies on doctors who work for each State’s disability determination services (“DDS”) to evaluate the medical evidence. The DDS doctors, also known as State agency medical consultants, do not examine claimants. Consultative examiners (“CEs”), who are from private companies that contract with DDS, examine claimants.
DDS doctors usually disregard what claimants’ doctors say, and just focus on what the CEs say, when evaluating SSD claims. If an SSD application is denied based upon the conclusion of a DDS doctor, then a claimant typically has to wait a couple of years before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) can hold a hearing on the denied application. During that delay, claimants can continue to submit updated medical information. By the time an ALJ has to decide a case, it is likely that the opinion of a DDS doctor has become stale, which is especially true if the claimant provided additional medical evidence during the wait for a hearing.
We were retained to represent a 52 year old former attorney from Rockville Centre with multiple medical impairments after his SSD application had been denied based on the opinions of the DDS doctors. We supplied a substantial amount of medical evidence while the claimant awaited his hearing with ALJ Alan Berkowitz, who approved the claimant’s SSD application today. Notably, ALJ Berkowitz stated that the opinions of the DDS doctors were unpersuasive because they did not review the updated medical evidence
This is an example of why it is so important to retain an attorney who specializes in disability, if you decide to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Please call my office for a free phone consultation. Our Long Island offices are conveniently located in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.Previous Next
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