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
Social Security Disability and the Job that You Worked
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
When you file for disability in either the social security disability or SSI program, you will be asked to provide a record of your work history. Why is this done? The reason is simple. Social security will use your work history information, along with your medical history information, to determine if you have the ability to go back to work, either at a job you have done in the past, or doing some other type of work.
Is the social security disability program able to pull up a list of your jobs, or are they completely dependent on you, the claimant, to supply your work history information? Most people would be surprised to learn that, when a disability claim is being on, the disability examiner (the person who makes the decision on your case) is entirely dependent on the information that has been supplied by the claimant.
Not surprisingly, many individuals who file for disability think that their claim will be decided completely on the basis of their medical records. But this is only half correct. The decision is actually made on the basis of work records and medical records. Why? Because social security disability and SSI disability decisions are made on the basis of whether or not you have a severe impairment that will last at least 12 months and which will prevent you from working and earning a substantial and gainful income.
In determining whether or not a person can work, the decision-maker on a disability claim (either a disability examiner or, at the hearing level, a federal judge) will compare their remaining functional capabilities to the demands of their past work (jobs they may have worked in the fifteen years prior to becoming disabled) and the demands of certain types of other work that they might be able to do. If they no longer have the functional capacity to do their past work or some form of other work, the determination will be made that they are disabled.
How does social security decide what an individual's remaining functional capabilities are? By reading and evaluating their medical records. In doing this, the disability examiner or judge can give the claimant what is known as an RFC, or residual functional capacity, rating. This is a rating of what they can still do, and no longer do (for example, an RFC rating will explain how long a person can sit or stand, how much they can lift, whether or not they can stoop or crouch, etc).
The RFC rating is measured against the functional requirements of the claimant's past jobs and other jobs that they might be able to perform. If their functional capabilities are less than the requirements of these jobs, they will be detemined to be disabled.
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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