Who Makes Decision on My Claim

A closer look at the Social Security Disability decision process

For the average person, the Social Security Disabilty process is a mystery. You begin with an application and more often than not find out your claim has been denied. Who makes the decision? How do you appeal? These are common questions.

At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, we want to provide quality legal representation as well as inform our clients and potential clients. For a free case evaluation, call 1-866-900-7078 today.

Initial application goes to the Disability Determination Services office

The outcome of the initial application will be made by a local Disability Determination Services (DDS) office. These offices are funded by the federal government to determine Social Security disability benefits eligibility at the local level. There is one office that serves North Carolina located in Raleigh.

If a person is denied and appeals his/her claim, the first appeal ("reconsideration") will be heard by someone at the DDS who was not involved in the initial determination.

If claimants are not successful after the initial application or reconsideration, they can appeal to a state Administrative Law Judge, followed by a panel of federal Social Security Administration Appeals Judges and finally a federal District Court Judge.

How a disability attorney in North Carolina can help

An attorney who is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Social Security Disability Law can help you navigate through this complex appeals process. According to the nonprofit National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR), claimants who employ a qualified attorney to represent them are much more likely to win at the hearing level than those who do not. Attorney Rick Fleming is a Board Certified Specialist in Social Security Disability Law and a sustaining member of NOSSCR.

He is assisted by Attorney Crystal Rouse, who worked as an examiner for the Disability Determination Services (DDS) for eight years before becoming a Social Security Disability attorney. As an examiner, she decided the relative merits of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims and determined which claims to approve for benefits. She was certified as "Level II" examiner, meaning she was also involved in reconsiderations and conducting continuing disability reviews. In addition to Social Security law, Ms. Rouse has practiced in the areas of debtor/creditor mediation, domestic violence and employment securities law.

Several of our paralegals in the Social Security Department have at least six years of experience as Disability Determination Services (DDS) examiners for the Social Security Administration (SSA). Some of them were certified as "Level II" examiners, meaning they also were involved in reconsiderations and conducting continuing disability reviews.

Contact our law offices today

At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, we’re here to help. Call 1-866-900-7078 now for a free case evaluation.

Social Security Disability cases can be complicated. Knowing what to do can be confusing. We may be able to help. Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin. We’re on your side.

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