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
You Must Give Social Security Disability Your Work History When You Apply
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Although Social Security has access to your work history as far as where you have worked and how much you have earned, if you are applying for disability you must supply them with a bit more information for the purpose of evaluating the vocational aspects of your claim.
Social Security Disability (SSD) is awarded to those with physical or mental conditions that prevent them from performing past work (any job held by the applicant within the past 15 years) or any other work to which they may be suited.
Before a disability examiner can make a decision on a claim, he must know not just where the applicant has worked, but the particular duties associated with his or her past employment positions. In this way a disability examiner can evaluate and classify the types of work an applicant is capable of performing, and use this information to determine if there is any job the applicant may be capable of doing, despite limitations imposed by his or her impairment(s).
Some people are awarded disability because their medical records indicate they meet a particular listing in the blue book (the official Social Security Administration [SSA] guide to the impairments it recognizes as “disabling” in nature); however, the majority of those applying for disability do not meet a listing.
Those who do not meet a listing in the blue book can still collect disability payments in the form of a “medical vocational allowance.” Medical vocational allowances are given to those who, though they do not meet an official listing, are still judged to be severely impaired and thus incapable of earning a substantial living.
The work history should not be viewed as an inconvenience, but an opportunity. In supplying a complete work history to the disability examiner, the applicant has an opportunity to spell out exactly what skills he has employed in the past rather than leaving it up to the disability examiner to guess at what he is capable of doing.
Since the majority of disability denials are based on an examiner’s belief that, although the claimant is impaired, he could still perform some type of past work or other work, it is in your best interest to be as specific as possible in the work history you submit to Social Security (form SSA-3369). Be sure to comply with any additional requests for information as failure to do so could mean a denial based on failure to cooperate with the examiner deciding your claim.
Those who are deemed capable of performing a past job or who appear to have the ability to perform other work despite their physical or mental limitations will be denied benefits. In general, those who are younger, more educated, or have acquired job skills that are in demand in today’s job market are less likely to be awarded disability payments.
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