Who Decides Whether You Will Receive Social Security Disability Benefits Or Not In United States

With more than half of the applications for social security disability benefits getting initially rejected in United States, it is often asked as to who can decide whether a person will become eligible for and actually get the disability benefits. Here is some information about the agency that deals with your applications and its different offices, including the appellate offices dealing with appeals.
Who Decides whether you will Receive Social Security Disability Benefits or Not in United States
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The decision regarding the eligibility of an applicant for Social Security Disability benefits is taken by the Social Security Administration or SSA, the body established to manage and administer the Social Security program in the United States.

Social Security Administration (SSA)

The SSA is an autonomous agency of the United States federal government for managing and administering Social Security benefits to the eligible persons as part of the social insurance program including retirement, disability, and survivors' benefits.

Origin & History of SSA

The Social Security Act of 1935, which laid down the framework of the Social Security program as part of the new deal

of President Roosevelt, also provided the legal mandate for the Social Security Board or SSB, which was establishes as the central body for administering the social security scheme. It was renamed as SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION in 1946 as part of the reorganization plan taken up by President Harry S. Truman.

Place of SSA within the Executive, Headquarters & Head

The SSA was placed under the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1953. In 1980, HEW became the Department of Health and Human Services. Subsequently, in a major step, in 1994, the signing of 42 U.S.C. 901 by the president Bill Clinton provided an independent status to the SSA. It is headed by a Commissioner, a place occupied at present by Michael J. Astrue, whose six-year term will last till 2013.

The headquarters of SSA are situated in Woodlawn, Maryland, where its headquarters are known as CENTRAL OFFICE. SSA includes 10 regional offices, 8 processing centers, approximately 1300 field offices, and 37 Teleservice Centers. It employs around 62,000 persons. Social security is the largest social welfare program in

the U.S consuming 37% of government expenditure and accounting for 7% of GDP.

Procedure for Decision by SSA

Once you make an application for Social Security Disability to the office of the SSA, it is considered by the officials of the SSA, who take a decision and inform the applicants about their decision. It is not uncommon for the decision to take over six or even eight months because of the large number of application received by the SSA. Almost a third of the applications are rejected, and hence there is a definite procedure for those not satisfied with the decision of the SSA.

In case, a person is not satisfied with the decision of the SSA regarding her application for disability benefits, there is an option of making a request for hearing before the Administrative law Judge or ALJ who is a part of the ‘The Office of Hearings and Appeals’ or OHA that administers the hearings and appeals program for the Social Security Administration (SSA). In 2006, OHA was renamed to ODAR or ‘the office of Disability Adjudication and Review.’

Although the decision regarding eligibility for disability benefits is taken by the SSA, it would be fair to say that SSA cannot act in an arbitrary manner in making such decisions. In taking a decision the SSA has to follow the eligibility criteria prescribed by the law and the notifications of the Government from time to time.

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