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Homepage >> Disability >> Social Security Disability FAQs >> Decision for Benefits

When I Apply for SSD Benefits throughout California, Nevada and the West, Who Decides if I am Disabled?

When you apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you know that the decision whether to grant your application is beyond your control. But, who decides if you are disabled and entitled to benefits? What can you to do help control your own destiny as much as possible? These are important questions, and you are right to be asking them. David Allen & Associates has offices in Sacramento, Oakland, and throughout California and Nevada, and our attorneys can help you understand what you are up against in applying for SSD benefits.

Does a Doctor Decide if I am Disabled in Order to Apply for SSD Benefits?

Since applying for Social Security Disability benefits is a complicated, time-consuming process and it can take months – or even years – to receive a final decision, it is important to understand your chances of success before you file. Importantly, however, while your doctors and David Allen & Associates’ trusted medical experts can give you their opinions, they cannot decide whether or not you should receive SSD benefits. This decision is left up to the doctors and disability specialists employed at your local Disability Determination Services office.

As part of the benefits application that our attorneys throughout California, Nevada and the West submit on your behalf, we will include information obtained from your doctors that will aid Disability Determination Services in deciding in your favor. The personnel considering your application may ask your doctors for additional information, and they may even ask you to submit to additional examinations by your doctors or other specialists. In general, they will be seeking to find out:
  • The nature and severity of your physical or mental impairment (read more about mental illness and SSD);
  • When and how you sustained your illness or injury;
  • What effects your illness or injury has on your ability to work;
  • What pertinent medical examinations have shown; and,
  • What treatment you have received and will need to receive on an ongoing basis.
Based on its assessment of these factors, Disability Determination Services will decide whether you are entitled to SSD benefits. Thus, as you can see, understanding what it means to be disabled is an important first step when considering whether to file an application.

What if Disability Determination Services Decides I am Not Disabled?

If Disability Determination Services denies your benefits application, you have the right to file an appeal. In fact, there are actually four different levels of appeals for SSD benefit denials. Depending on how far you need to go in the appellate process, a different employee of Disability Determination Services, an administrative law judge, or a federal court judge may ultimately decide whether or not you are entitled to SSD benefits.

Get Help with Your Social Security Disability Application Today

David Allen & Associates has many years of experience successfully helping people obtain the SSD benefits they deserve. With office locations including Sacramento, Oakland, Reno, and Las Vegas, we represent individuals and families throughout the western United States. Contact us online or call (877) 876-4800 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Social Security lawyers today.






David Allen & Associates has offices located throughout California and Nevada

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Wells Fargo Building
200 S. Virginia St. 8th floor
Reno, NV 89501
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5230 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819
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Sherwood Executive Center
5250 Claremont Avenue
Stockton, CA 95207
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1300 Clay Street, Ste 600
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 663-4600
Fax: (510) 663-4660

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3900 Newpark Mall Rd., 3rd Floor
Newark, CA 94560
Phone: (877) 876-4800
Fax: (510) 663-4660









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