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Job Duties of a Disability Examiner

by Alejandro Russell

Disability examiners are one of the core pillars of the Social Security Administration and disability insurance firms. This job involves reviewing disability claims from people with long-term disabilities to determine the appropriate settlement for them. As a disability examiner, you ought to act in the best interest of your company and the disabled person. According to a 2010 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of disability examiners, along with that of claims adjusters and investigators, was $58,620.

Reviewing Claims

Disability examiners review disability claims of claimants to determine liability. In fulfilling this task, you need to analyze police reports, medical bills, physical property damages and medical treatment reports. As part of the review, you examine the claims forms and additional records to determine the appropriate insurance coverage. Executing an accurate review of disability claims requires that you possess good reading comprehension skills. You should also understand technical terms in various relevant documents, which will enable you to make an accurate determination of the claim.

Negotiating Claims

Sometimes, the process of reaching a settlement may become deadlocked. It is the duty of a disability examiner to unlock this stalemate through negotiating an acceptable settlement for both parties. This role demands that these professionals should have great negotiation and communication skills. Communication is also very important when you are contacting claimants. This skill helps you when you are interviewing claimants in case of any discrepancies in their claims forms. During the negotiation, the examiner needs to interview the claimant concerning any issue in her disability claim.

Conducting Additional Investigations

In case of any glaring issues in the claims forms, it is the duty of disability examiners to undertake further investigations by seeking additional information. For instance, they would have to interview the claimants to gain clarification on any questionable details. Additional investigations also involve analyzing employment records of claimants and seeking credit information from their financial institutions. It is the responsibility of a disability examiner to consult with other stakeholders in determining liability. Examples of these stakeholders include vocational consultants and physicians who can provide credible advice relevant to their expertise.

Claims Determination

After obtaining enough information and consulting with other professionals, a disability examiner makes a disability determination. The determination begins with the compilation of a medical write-up, which undergoes review by the state disability unit physician. When approving the claim, he provides comprehensive reasons justifying the decision. If the examiner disapproves the claim, he must prove that the residual functional capacity -- or RFC -- of the claimant prevents him from working. Disability examiners cannot use the claimant’s medical situation to determine a claim without consulting a medical professional.

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