To receive Social Security Disability benefits a person must meet Social Security's definition of disability and meet certain non-medical eligibility requirements. Examples of non-medical eligibility requirements include proof of age, employment, marital status, or Social Security coverage information. State agencies (usually called Disability Determination Services or DDSs) make the medical determination on a claim. Local Social Security offices are responsible for verifying non-medical eligibility requirements.
Most Social Security disability claims are initially processed through a network of local Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices and State agencies (usually called Disability Determination Services or DDSs). Social Security representatives in the field offices usually obtain applications for disability benefits in person, by telephone, by mail, or by filing online. The application and related forms ask for a description of the claimant's impairment(s), treatment sources, and other information that relates to the alleged disability. (The "claimant" is the person who is requesting disability benefits.) The field office is responsible for verifying non-medical eligibility requirements, which may include age, employment, marital status, or Social Security coverage information.