Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Social Security Disability and SSI Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability Back Pay Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Ask a question, get an answer
Is getting social security disability easier for mental or physical problems?
Some individuals assume that a claim for SSD or SSI disability benefits will be easier to process and get approved if it is based on a specific condition, or a condition that is either physical or mental in nature.
However, speaking as a former disability examiner for social security, this is simply not the case. While there are some conditions that may potentially receive faster processing because they are identified as compassionate allowance conditions (often these conditions are specific forms of cancer) and while some cases may be processed faster because they have been identified as a TERI case (terminal illness), the strength of most claims has little to do with the specific illness or impairment that has been alleged.
Why is the case and why would it be true that a mental disability claim is no stronger than a physical disability claim, or vice-versa? Because the social security disability program and the SSI disability program are not concerned with which condition a claimant has, but, instead, with how severe their condition is.
Of course, the word "severe" is somewhat subjective. However, the social security administration does delineate what is not a severe impairment. Impairments that are not severe are those that result in only a minimal inability to engage in basic work activities. For children, non-severe impairments are those that only result in a minimal inability to engage in age-appropriate activities.
To answer the question with which we started, it is no easier or harder to receive disability for a physical condition versus a mental condition. The social security administration will award benefits to those adult claimants who can prove that their condition (which may result from several different impairments, and, in fact, this is often the case) is severe enough to prevent work activity at the substantial gainful activity level, and those child claimants who can prove that their condition is severe enough to sufficiently inhibit age-appropriate activities (often demonstrated by grade performance and achievement and IQ testing scores).
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Can You Get Approved For SSI or SSD Benefits IF You Have A Mental Condition But Do Not Take Medication?
Will Your Claim for Disability be Handled Differently if it is Based on a Physical or Mental Problem?
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
The Social Security Disability and SSI Process for Mental Claims based on Mental Disorders
When you file for disability and have both Mental and Physical Conditions
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Are SSI and Social Security Disability Requirements Tougher For Mental Claims?
Social Security Disability, SSI, Mental Disorders, and Functional Limitations
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria