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
Waiting for a Hearing to be Scheduled before an ALJ, Administrative Law Judge
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Individuals who have been A) denied on a disability application and B) denied on a request for reconsideration appeal have the option of filing a second appeal which is a request for a hearing that is decided by a federally appointed judge.
Decisions that issued by administrative law judges tend to be more balanced, meaning that a claimant has a far better chance of having their medical evidence evaluated objectively and fairly. Proof of this lies in the fact that a social security judge will tend to give the proper consideration and weight to any statements submitted by a claimant's treating physician or treating physicians (some people have more than one) when such statements clearly indicate the claimant's physical or mental limitations and the extent to which these limitations reduce the ability to engage in normal activities of daily living, particularly as they relate to work activity.
Individuals pursuing a claim for disability will generally have at least a forty percent chance of being awarded disability benefits by a judge at a hearing. This is far better than the 30 percent approval rate that is obtained at the initial disability application level or the 12-15 approval rate that is seen at the first appeal level, which is the request for reconsideration. Disability hearings in which claimants are represented by either a non-attorney disability representative or by a disability attorney will have an even better chance of resulting in an approval, as high as 62-65 percent.
Because social security hearings are far more likely to yield an awarding of benefits, a claimant should always pursue the disability appeal process, at least as far as the hearing level. The only negative, of course, to filing a request for a disability hearing is the length of time that it takes to get a hearing date scheduled.
Prior to the year 2000, it was not uncommon to only wait 3-5 months for a hearing with an administrative law judge to be scheduled. Now, due to backlogs and a system that sees more claims being filed each year, it is not unsusual to see waits of 12 months or longer.
What happens on a disability case after a hearing has been requested and is waiting to be scheduled? At the hearing office, very little will occur on the claim because A) it is only sometime prior to the actual scheduling that the case file is reviewed by the judge who has been assigned to the case and B) the hearing office does not gather updated medical records to further develop the case.
This is very different from when the case is evaluated at the two prior levels (the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels). At those levels, a disability examiner takes full responsibility for obtaining whatever documentation is needed to make a decision on the case. At the hearing level, by contrast, the only information that will be considered by the ruling judge is whatever information is already in the disability file. Unless, that is, the claimant obtains additional (and recent) medical record documentation. In cases where a claimant is represented, of course, the representative will generally make considerable effort to obtain the following:
1. Recent medical records. Recent documentation is needed to show that the claimant is "currently" disabled.
2. Medical records that address any condition for which the attorney believes a case for disability can be made.
3. In the case of a mental impairment (or a child filing for disability), school records.
4. In some instances, work records such as statements from employers or documentation detailing earnings or time spent on the job.
5. Objective statements from a claimant's physician (known as a medical source statement) that describe the claimant's RFC, or residual functional capacity.
In addition to this, a disability lawyer or non-attorney representative may attempt to secure a bench decision on a case to speed up receiving a decision. Or the representative may attempt to secure an "on the record decision" which could remove the need for even holding the hearing. Or the representative might attempt to have the hearing scheduled sooner because of the claimant's financial and/or medical situation if that situation can be described as being one of dire need.
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Topics and Questions
Crucial Information about the Social Security Disability Application Process and SSI
Does a person with severe keratoconus qualify to receive a disability grant?
When Social Security Disability Is Awarded Do You Get A Notice, And What Does It Say?
Can a Disability Examiner or Judge make a Social Security Approval with Old Medical Records?
Does Social Security turn down every disability case the first time ?
Applying for disability benefits in Ohio
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
What Happens if a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim gets Denied on a Reconsideration Appeal?
How Important is the Treating Physician to a Social Security Disability or SSI case?
What is DDS, or disability determinations services ?
What to Do After You Apply for Disability
Are SSI claims denied more than Social Security disability claims ?
Who Makes the Decision at the Social Security Disability, SSI Hearing Level?
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Does your chance of winning disability benefits at a hearing depend on the judge you get?
Why Is It So Hard For People To Get Social Security Disability?
Why does Representation increase the win ratio at a Social Security Disability or SSI Hearing?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI disability ?
Social Security Disability SSI and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
How does a Medical Source Statement (RFC Form) help win a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim?
If my medical condition keeps me from working will I get Social Security disability ?
Do Disability Lawyers Require A Retainer?
Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Ohio
Disability Criteria - Eligibility For Social Security and SSI Disability
What makes you disabled for SSD, Social Security Disability Benefits, OR SSI?
Should you get a Non-Attorney Disability Representative for a Social Security or SSI case?
What is the Chance of Winning an SSA appeal for disability?
Are Social Security Disability Requirements Tougher For Mental Claims?
How should I prepare for a disability hearing with Social Security ?
How do you appeal if you are denied for Social Security disability ?
Why is the Social Security Disability Decision Process So Slow
What if you Move out of State after you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Can you qualify for disability benefits if you did not work much ?
Do you get medical healthcare benefits with Social Security disability ?
For Disability, What Does It Mean When A person Can Only Do Sedentary Work?
Information about Social Security Disability SSI and Mental Claims
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