May 7, 2013
By Warren Silberman
Question 18.y. in the FAA medical application form asks if the applicant has ever had medical disability benefits. In an ultra-short summary, this question came out of a bunch of legal cases that originated in California when the U.S. attorneys came up with the idea to match the Social Security database with the FAA's Medical Certification electronic system, the Document, Imaging, and Workflow System (also known by the acronym DIWS). They discovered that some airmen had been receiving disability payments by the Social Security Administration but had not revealed this information on their FAA medical form. This led to a series of legal actions, which are still going on to this day.
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