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
When is a Person Considered Fully Disabled by Social Security?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
After you file for disability, your case will be evaluated by a disability examiner, a case processing specialist at an agency known as DDS, or disability determination services.
DDS is a state-level agency that is responsible for making the decision on a disability application, as well as the decision on a reconsideration (the request for reconsideration is the first appeal in the process and it is filed after an initial claim, or disability application, has been denied). Decisions at disability hearings, of course, are made by federally appointed administrative law judges, or ALJs for short.
The social security evaluation process that is conducted by a disability examiner can be quite lengthy and can take several weeks to several months. Typically, most claims at the application level will be decided in under 120 days. The process employed by the disability examiner will involve a review of the claimant's medical evidence and their work history if they are an adult.
If the applicant is a minor-age child (meaning that they would be filing under SSI disability), the evaluation process will still include a review of the medical evidence, but also a review of whatever academic and testing records may exist for the child, including grade reports, IQ testing, and achievement testing.
For either an adult applicant or a child who is filing for disability, the goal of the disability examiner will be decide whether or not the individual, as a result of their condition, has enough functional limitations such that they cannot engage in a normal range of daily activities. More specifically, this will mean for adults the ability to engage in work activity and for children the ability to engage in age-appropriate activities relative to same-age peers.
Being considered fully disabled by social security essentially means the inability to do these things. In the case of adults, the disability criteria can be described in the following detail:
1. The condition must be severe enough that it will render the claimant unable to work and earn a substantial and gainful income. This will include the inability to work at past jobs that are relevant as well as work in other types of employment that utilize one's skills and education.
2. The condition must be severe enough that it lasts a minimum of one full year while imposing functional limitations that prevent work activity.
Satisfying these conditions is required to be considered fully disabled by the social security administration. SSA does not offer the option of qualifying for disability benefits under a partial disability or limited disability option. To meet the social security definition of disability, an individual must be totally disabled and unable to work and their disabling condition must be considered somewhat permanent (approved cases are subject to undergoing disability reviews periodically, though the majority of post-approval case reviews are done every seven years).
Continued at: How is the determination for disability made by the social security administration?
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Topics and Questions
Should you get a Non-Attorney Disability Representative for a Social Security or SSI case?
Will a Disability attorney try to Help You get Your Medical Records?
Social Security Disability, SSI and Being Over the Age of Fifty, 50
When is a Person Considered Fully Disabled by Social Security?
Applying for disability benefits in Florida
How Long Does It Take To Get Disability Benefits When You First File?
If You are Denied for Disability, What Should You do First?
If you have had a heart attack will you qualify for Social Security disability?
Social Security Disability SSI and ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Who Makes the Decision at the Social Security Disability, SSI Hearing Level?
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Why does it take so long for social security to get medical records?
How Long Can You Receive Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI)?
How long does it take to hear an answer after filing for disability?
Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Indiana
Social Security Disability SSI and the Onset Date
Social Security Disability SSI - Retroactive Benefits Vs Back Pay Benefits
Applying for disability benefits in New Mexico
When a person that has been receiving SSD monthly payments dies, how is the last payment made?
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