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Who decides whether SSD benefits are approved?

When Georgia residents are in need of assistance, it is obviously important to know what they can do in order to receive that assistance. It is also imperative that individuals understand who can provide assistance, and how that help is provided.

When it comes to Social Security disability benefits, there are a number of requirements that apply before benefits will be awarded. First, however, it is important to understand who makes the decision of whether to award benefits.

An individual's application for Social Security disability benefits is submitted to the Social Security Administration. The Administration typically reviews applications to make sure the person has satisfied some basic requirements for the benefits and that the person has worked enough years to qualify for benefits. The Administration also looks at the person's current work activities.

If these basic requirements are satisfied, the application is then forwarded to the Disability Determination Services office in the person's state. The state agency proceeds to finish the disability decision.

For instance, medical professionals working with the state agency will consult the individual's doctors regarding the individual's medical condition. They will inquire about the medical condition, when it began, how it limits the person's activities, what tests have been conducted and what treatment the person has received for the condition.

In addition to questions about the person's medical condition, the state agency will examine the person's ability to do work-related activities. This includes activities like walking, sitting, standing and carrying items. Ultimately, all of this information will be considered to determine whether Social Security disability benefits will be awarded.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Social Security Disability Benefits," accessed on April 5, 2015

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