Voice over (VO): The Social Security Administration pays disability benefits to Oklahomans who can’t work due to a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.
Bruce Smith, Professional relations Office: We look at each case on an individual basis and make sure that we make the correct decision on it. Because we do know that people's lives depend on it.
VO: Disability Determination is a division of the state Department of Rehabilitation Services. But the program is funded by the federal government to determine eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. Disability examiners and consulting physicians or psychologists work as a team on the medical review process. They decide whether or not applicants are disabled or blind based on medical evidence and federal rules and regulations.
Christy Washington, DD Specialist Level 4: In the event that the consumer’s medical records don’t have enough information or not the type of information we need, our agency will pay for a private exam in the community. So we can get the information we need to help the consumer.
VO: Children are evaluated based on their ability to perform age-appropriate activities. Cases are re-evaluated periodically to make sure that individuals receiving benefits are still disabled.
Washington: Here at DDD, the process of making all our medical records come in electronically has help to speed up the process and to be able to make decisions more quickly and efficiently.
Larry Jones, Social Security Administration Public Affairs Specialist: The thing I like about the Disability.
Determination Division is the fact that their employees are really well trained and understand exactly what they are doing. They’ve had a remarkable accuracy rate, in fact, it’s over 96% in the last year. They take over 50,000 cases a year from the offices around the state of Oklahoma.
VO: Disability Determination helps Oklahomans cope with loss of income due to disability. As a result, they gain more independence and make a better life for themselves and their families.
Smith: As a result of finding an allowance not only do the people receive benefits – the people that apply – sometimes their family members and it will raise the quality of life for the whole family not just the person who applies and is allowed.
Copyright 2008 Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.