What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
After you file for SSD, the Disability Examiner may contact you for additional information
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Once you file your disability claim, your claim is sent to a federally funded state agency responsible for making medical disability determinations for Social Security. There, your disability claim is assigned to a disability examiner.
Disability examiners are responsible for gathering medical records from the medical sources that you provided during your disability claim interview. As the medical information comes in, the examiner must determine if your medical sources have provided enough information to allow them to make their medical disability determination. If the examiner determines that there is not enough information for them to make a determination, they will contact you to schedule an examination (or examinations) to address your alleged disabling conditions. An examination of this type is known as a CE, or consultative exam.
Doctors who are paid by Social Security to provide medical information for disability decisions perform consultative examinations. Consultative examinations are generally not the best evaluation of the true limitations of your medical or mental conditions. For the most part, they are performed to provide the bare minimum amount of medical information needed for a disability decision. Unfortunately, from my experience as a disability examiner, consultative examinations resulted in far more disability denials than approvals.
Your disability examiner will most also likely contact you so you may provide them with information about how your disabling condition affects the performance of routine activities such as household chores, grocery shopping, socializing, grooming, etc. Generally, they will also contact the third party person that you listed on your disability application as well to get another perspective as to how your disabling condition affects your daily activities or even your ability to work.
When the disability examiner has enough information to make their disability decision, you will be sent a decisional notice through the postal service. If you are denied for disability and you still feel that you are disabled, you have sixty-five days to file an appeal of your disability denial with Social Security. This means your appeal has to be in your local (social security) office by the sixty-fifth day to be considered timely. If you are late in filing your appeal, there is a chance that you may have to begin the disability process again.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials