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  • Co-Occurring Substance Use: Material to Disability?

    How substance use is considered in the disability determination process has changed substantially over the years. This article dispels several widely-held myths about how DDS views substance use (such as you have to be clean and sober to get benefits), and its impact on the application process.

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    Article
  • Prior or Pending Applications

    It is important to find out whether someone has a pending initial claim or is waiting for a reconsideration or an appeals hearing before starting a new application.

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    Article
  • About Appeals

    While we do our best to help eligible individuals get approved on the initial application, sometimes the application is denied and we need to help someone through the appeals process. This article provides an overview of the several levels of appeals and the steps to take to file an appeal.

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    Article
  • Medicare Savings Programs

    Recipients of SSDI are eligible for Medicare two years after their SSDI eligibility began. This article provides an overview of programs that can assist individuals with the expenses associated with Medicare, such as premiums, deductibles, and co-pays.

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    Article
  • Linking Functional Information to Diagnosis and Impairment

    For applicants with mental disorders, DDS examiners look at a person’s ability to function in four primary areas. Your responsibility is to describe the functioning of the individual in as much detail as possible and to document how the person’s illness impairs his or her ability to function and maintain employment at a substantial gainful level.

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    Article
  • Interviewing for the MSR

    One of the most important tasks for you to accomplish is to make the link between diagnosis and functional impairment so that DDS can fully understand the applicant’s disability. This article discusses how to ask questions that elicit the information you will use to write your Medical Summary Report (MSR).

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    Article