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
If I Get Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability, What Do I Do?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
There are two ways to answer this question.
If, by this question, a person means that they have filed a disability application, been denied on the application, then filed a second disability application and also been denied on that application, the course of action should be to file the first appeal that is available to them.
This will be something known as a request for reconsideration, an appeal, that like an application for disability, is also decided by a disability examiner at disability determination services.
However, if by this question, a person means that they have filed a disability application, been denied, then filed a reconsideration appeal and been denied on this, the next course of action should be to file the second appeal, which is a request for a disability hearing.
Evidence to prove the claim
With any claim for Social Security Disability or SSI disability, of course, you should have a past medical treatment history that is at least a few months old.
But, ideally, your medical record documentation should go far back enough to be able to prove the onset date (when you claim your disability began) you listed at the time of application. Onset date is a very important issue since it impacts when a person's coverage for medicare may begin and potentially how much they may receive in disability back pay.
In addition to older records, you will also need current medical records from an acceptable medical source (i.e. licensed or certified physicians, psychologists, podiatrists, etc.). Current medical records are medical records that are no older than ninety days old.
You will also help your chances of approval significantly if you have a treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition) who can provide medical treatment records for your disabling conditions.
If you do not have any medical treatment notes, or your medical treatment records are more than three months old, you most likely will have to attend a consultative examination, or CE, so that the disability examiner will have current medical information to make your disability determination.
On the whole, consultative examinations are rarely a true indicator of an individual’s disabling condition, or what limitations the individual has as a result of their disabling condition. These doctors are independent, private practice physicians who are paid by Social Security to perform a brief perfunctory examination, just enough for the disability examiner to have a general status of your condition or conditions. Generally, consultative examinations do not lead to an approval for disability benefits.
Filing a disability appeal
Without a doubt, if your disability claim is denied, you should appeal your disability denial. So many disability claimants give up and do not file an appeal only to find themselves starting the disability process all over again at a future date.
All disability claimants have sixty days, plus five days for mailing, to get their appeal submitted to Social Security. You can file your appeal online, or file a paper appeal. It really does not matter what method you use, the important thing is to file the appeal and file it timely. However, if you have a disability representative, either a disability attorney or a non-attorney disability advocate, contact that individual's office so they can file your appeal paperwork for you.
If you do not file your appeal timely, you may have to file a new disability claim if you cannot present an acceptable good cause reason for missing the appeal deadline. Do not be discouraged if your first appeal (reconsideration) is denied, because about eighty-five percent of those who file a reconsideration appeal are denied.
The trick to getting your disability claim approved if you are denied at the initial level (i.e. the disability application level) is to eventually get to an administrative law judge disability hearing. You can only do that by filing a reconsideration appeal first (the reconsideration is the first appeal). If your reconsideration is denied, you may then file a request for a disability hearing.
More people win their disability claim at a disability hearing than the initial disability claim and reconsideration appeal levels combined. More than sixty percent of all individuals who attend a disability hearing with representation are approved and awarded disability benefits.
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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