The Social Security Disability application process is quite lengthy and complicated. Once you submit an application for benefits, the local Social Security field office reviews the non-medical portion of your application. If you meet the overall eligibility requirements for the program, your application goes to a Disability Determination Services (DDS) office for medical verification.
DDS offices are state agencies funded by the federal government that gather and develop medical evidence for each application. These agencies make the initial determination of whether an applicant will receive Social Security Disability benefits. In Pennsylvania, the state DDS agency is called the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD).
In Pennsylvania, the BDD reviews your application and any medical evidence you have supplied. It then requests additional medical information from doctors and the hospitals and clinics where you have received medical treatment. Your doctors and caregivers are not asked to determine whether you are disabled, but they are asked to provide the following about your medical condition:
- What it is and when it started
- What the test results show
- What treatments you have received
- How it impacts your daily living as well as your ability to do work-related activities such as sitting, standing, lifting, walking and remembering instructions
The Pennsylvania BDD may also request additional information from other sources if necessary. For children, it may request additional information from schools, caregivers, social workers and parents. It may also require an applicant to submit to a medical examination—at no cost to the applicant—if your healthcare providers did not provide information or if it feels more medical information is needed to make a disability determination. Once it has received all of the necessary information, the BDD can make the decision whether to approve or deny benefits.
On average, the Pennsylvania BDD handles 145,000 disability claims per year—denying many of them. At Schmidt Kramer, our lawyers are dedicated to helping disabled Americans obtain the disability benefits they are due. If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits, an experienced York Social Security Disability attorney can help you through the appeals process. Simply give us a call today at (717) 888-8888 for your free case review.