Disability Adjudication Services
The Georgia Disability Adjudication Services (DAS) is a state agency that makes Social Security disability determinations under an agreement with the Social Security Administration. The DAS is fully federally funded. The main Georgia DAS office is in Stone Mountain with branch offices located in Athens, Dalton, Thomasville and Savannah.
Applicants file disability claims at the federal Social Security field offices throughout the state. The disability claims are forwarded to the DAS offices where criteria set forth by SSA is used in developing the claim and making the disability eligibility determination. Disability adjudicators must know about the Social Security laws and regulations as well as medical and vocational issues. Adjudicators review an applicant’s statements regarding the reason(s) for his or her inability to work and the treatment he or she has received. Based on SSA criteria, the adjudicator then decides the medical evidence required to evaluate the extent of the applicant’s limitations and contacts treating sources to secure pertinent information.
A team consisting of a disability adjudicator and a state agency medical consultant determine whether a person meets disability provisions of the Social Security law. These individuals are trained to carefully analyze and evaluate medical and vocational factors under the requirements of the Social Security Act.
SSA Definition of Disability
- Adult: An adult has medically determinable physical or mental impairment that prevents any substantial gainful activity and has lasted or is expected to last for a period of 12 continuous months or is expected to result in death.
- Children: A child has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that causes marked and severe functional limitations and has lasted or is expected to last for 12 continuous months or is expect to result in death.
Benefits are awarded based on either
- Insured status (Title II) or
- Financial need (Title XVI)
If DAS makes an unfavorable decision, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision through the reconsideration process or the next level of appeal. This next level is a hearing through the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review where an administrative law judge will conduct a face to face hearing and make a decision on disability and supplemental security income benefits.
The Application Process
There are several ways to apply for benefits:
- Visit the SSA website at www.socialsecurity.gov to apply online.
- Call or visit any Social Security office to schedule an appointment.
- Contact SSA toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
When you apply for benefits, you will be asked to:
- Describe your disabling condition;
- Give information about where you have received treatment for your disability;
- Give information about your medications;
- Give information about your education and past work experience; and
- Authorize release of your records to be used in making the disability decision.
For more information about the Disability Adjudication Services, contact DAS Constituent Services at 678-639-2100.