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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

Will Social Security Treat My Disability Application Fairly?

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Sep 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

Once your Social Security disability is on file, it is only natural to wonder if the person assigned to your claim is going to give it an honest evaluation.  Considering all that goes into filing for Social Security disability and the circumstances that lead to such an application, it would be nice if Social Security treats your application properly.

So, will they?

Not likely.

The Odds Are Long Against You

Not Exactly An Ace

The odds are stacked against you from the moment you turn in your Social Security disability application. Your case will be assigned to a worker a the Disability Determination Service (DDS). That person is supposed to gather your medical records and then seek review of them by the appropriate medical provider.  Sounds straightforward, but there are many ways for the process to go wrong.

You Are Not Credible

Consider that DDS never considers anyone more than partially credible. I have never once seen DDS declare an applicant wholly credible.  This means that from the outset, the DDS worker is saying she has serious reasons to doubt you are telling the truth. And what are those serious reasons to consider you a liar? DDS almost always cites the exact same reason: "Claimant's statements regarding the severity & limitations caused by alleged impairments are not fully substantiated by the objective medical evidence. " Does that strike you as an evaluation or a conclusion? How is it that this is true of virtually every person who applies for Social Security disability.

Sure, We Believe You

Why Not Use Your Own Doctor?

DDS is supposed to have a doctor perform an examination of you to assess your limitations. If possible, DDS will have your own doctor do this exam. But do they ever? No. Instead, DDS states that no treating doctor is available to conduct the examination. Is that true or is it the case that DDS wants to send you to a doctor of their choosing instead?

Set Up To Say No

There are other examples of how DDS is working against you from the beginning. The bigger issue is that DDS is apparently set up to deny cases.  Their thinking seems to be that a denial is prudent because the applicant can always appeal.  DDS can take comfort in knowing that if their denials were incorrect, a Social Security judge can fix the problem later. If you are DDS worker, would you risk approving people or just keep the wheels turning? The answer seems to be the latter most of the time.

A Denial Is Virtually Certain

I See A Denial In Your Future

 Do not get your hopes up when you apply for Social Security disability. Be prepared for a denial. When it comes, call me or another local attorney at once.  The denial says almost nothing about the merits of your case.  It is just a bump in the road to be overcome on your way to approval.

What was your experience with DDS like? Does anyone get approved the first time around? Let me know.

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


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John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 25+ years.

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Feel free to call with any questions or concerns you have about Social Security disability. I never charge for a consultation. In fact, there is no charge at all until we win your case. Unlike most lawyers, I never charge extra for things like telephone calls or making copies.