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
Should I List My Past Depression Medications on My Social Security Disability or SSI Application?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If we answer this question in a technical manner, we can say "no, your past medications do not matter". In fact, when you file your claim you will only be asked to provide a list of your current medications. Having said that, though, disability examiners like to have the full picture of an applicant’s limitations before making a decision on a claim. If the examiner finds a reference to a particular medication in your medical records and you have not explained or disclosed it, he may feel he needs more information before approving or denying your claim.
Even if you are not currently taking the medications, or have stopped taking them for a long period of time but have begun taking them again, they could be relevant to your disability case. For instance, if you are filing for a claim on the basis of an affective disorder illness such as depression, noting in your medical history that you have taken medication in the past for your condition can help the examiner establish when your symptoms first began, or the onset date. Typically, the earlier the onset date, the more back pay you may be entitled to receive if you are approved for benefits.
In addition, you can file a claim based on not just one, but a combination of medical conditions. If you are no longer able to perform your current job due to back pain, for instance, it is less likely that a disability examiner will determine you are able to perform other, less physical work if you are also suffering from crippling depression.
When it comes to filing for disability, you should include any information that can help an examiner understand the full impact of your medical condition on your ability to work. Disability applications are evaluated based on both the severity of your illness and your ability to perform any work that pays a monthly wage equal to or greater than the current SGA, or substantial gainful activity amount.
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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