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Who decides if I am disabled?


Video Transcription

The decision of whether your disabled or not, there is a big misconception that the doctors and the physicians that you’re seeing are the ones that say you’re disabled and you should automatically qualify for social security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration does not work that way.

They do take the opinions of the doctors, but it is a legal determination. It is not just he or she is disabled. You have to meet certain requirements within the system itself. Initially and at the reconsideration level, these are workers within the Social Security Administration, not judges, that are making the decision as to whether you’re disabled and you basically have to fit into a certain box. They have to be able to check off all the boxes and say, “Yes, you fit in there at those two levels.”

There really isn’t much of a gray area for them to make a decision. Once you get to the hearing level, the judge can not only look at the documents that are in your file for the evidence, the medical records as well as forms that we may have the doctors fill out to help the judge in making that decision for you.

They will also listen to your testimony, and if you have witnesses, listen to the witnesses’ testimony as well. They can take all of that into consideration in order to make your disability decision. It’s based on your impairments, your past relevant work experience, as well as your current limitations, as well as your education and your age.

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