Do you think an SS examiner is more likely to approve a claim if he/she feels sympathetic?

Someone I know had a forklift accident a while back and some of his symptoms from the injury are now chronic. He applied for SSDI. He also has a dx of epilepsy.

Just wondering how the approval or denial rate of initial claims are determined. Suppose, for example – that the DDS examiner had a brother who got injured from a forklift accident or can relate to the symptoms of epilepsy. Do you think in that case the examiner is more likely to shoehorn the claim to "fit" so that it is approved? Or do they have to follow rules to the letter, regardless of their personal feelings about the claimants’ issues?

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    8 Responses to “Do you think an SS examiner is more likely to approve a claim if he/she feels sympathetic?”

    1. Teddy & Chiliswoman Says:

      Yes, it is impossible to negate your feelings if the situation is one where it could go either way. If the situation feels personal you are obviously going to be more inclined to approve it if all the others factors are consistent with an approval. But I also think the reverse is true, if a person has had a bad experience with a person similar to the claimant, if there is any question that the claim is insufficient – they’ll be more likely to deny it.

    2. Atropa Says:

      "Do you think in that case the examiner is more likely to shoehorn the claim to "fit" so that it is approved?"

      No. It is not the level of disability that one has. It matters whether or not one can work.

    3. FOV Says:

      No. it is the ability to work that is judged not the level of the disability. An SS examiner may feel sympathetic but isn’t going to alter a claim out of sympathy so the person can be approved.

    4. ♥Dee W. Says:

      In my state, I had to sit before a panel a numerous doctors before receiving a ruling. I think there were 9 & then I had to get exams by 5 or 6 of their own approved doctors & submit the findings to the board. All in all – it took years & I don’t ever remember any type of sympathy coming from any of them. It felt more like apathy to me at the time. I’m happy that I got approved & don’t care why they made their decision. It changed my life for the better & if I could thank them – I sure would!.

    5. Bob Says:

      Absolutely. DDS examiners seem to be notorious about not giving full details or important information for Social Security.

      Lawyer warned me about DDS and ask if I can get an independent specialist before I won my claim.

      Social Security can hired the most cheapest and less credible examiner for all I know. No offense to whoever worked or currently work with the Social Security.

    6. Sally Says:

      IF you can find one with some compassion. BIG IF!

    7. fodaddy19 Says:

      It’s possible. But technically it shouldn’t matter. If a examiner thinks that his or her emotional sensitivity to a situation is or has been compromised, then he or she should defer the case to another examiner. The process should be absolutely objective IMHO, it’s fair to everybody.

    8. Anna E Says:

      I doubt it, they have a medical manual that they go by when determining eligibility. The thing I try to let everyone know is that the disability determinations specialists are NOT MEDICAL PERSONNEL, they are every day off the street people with a college degree (in anything) that are trained by Social Security to use the manual to determine a persons eligibility for disability. That is why so many people can get approved when they hire an attorney.