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What if I need a special examination for my SSD benefits claim?

For Georgia residents who are seeking Social Security disability benefits, cases will be decided based on the evidence presented. That includes the medical evidence. However, some cases require more information so an informed and fair decision can be made. This is when a special examination might be needed. Understanding the circumstances under which this will be requested and what it means is an important factor in a case.

This examination will only be done so the Disability Determination Services (DDS) in the state can have as much information as possible. DDS is responsible for making the decision as to whether the SSD benefits application should be approved or not. The Social Security Administration relies on DDS for this purpose. The special examination is not a punishment, nor is it a signal that the case is going to be denied. It simply means the DDS needs more information.

The SSA pays for the special examination or, if needed, a medical test. If the applicant needs to travel to get to the location where the special examination will be given, the SSA will pay for that too. Often, the doctor who performs the special examination is not the applicant's regular doctor. If the applicant wants his or her regular doctor to assess the test results, a copy can be sent. The applicant is required to willingly take part in the special examination and be as cooperative as necessary. Simply not showing up is not an option without informing the SSA that there is an issue and that the appointment needs to be changed.

If the special examination is not conducted, the DDS will make its decision based on the information it has. Since there was a request for the special examination, it is likely necessary for an approval. Therefore, it is imperative to take part in the examination. Certain information the DDS requires will be the focus of the examination. The doctor's report will be reviewed and, with all the other evidence, the DDS will decide on the claim. As with any other decision made with or without a special examination, if the applicant does not agree, he or she can appeal.

Seeking disability benefits can sometimes be complex and confusing. It is important that the applicant understands how the SSA goes about making its decisions and how a special examination can impact a case. Having legal assistance from the beginning is wise. A law firm that helps clients with their Social Security disability claims should be called for representation.

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