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 ó how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications - What is the examiner looking for?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Disability examiners at Disability Determination Services (the state agency responsible for making Social Security disability determinations) comb through thousands of medical records each year looking for two things: A) objective medical evidence of the severity of alleged impairments as well, as any other impairments not alleged in the disability claim and B) statements as to a disability applicant's functional ability or limitations.
The latter is usually difficult to find as most treating physicians do not include functional capacity evaluations or even statements as to what their patientís specific limitations are. Most statements, if any, are fairly general and do not carry much weight in a disability determination.
This is why the disability examiner working on your disability claim will most likely request that you and your third party (an individual your named during your disability application as someone who knows about your condition and how it affects you) complete an activities of daily living questionnaire (your third party contact person completes a third party questionnaire). These questionnaires are used in conjunction with objective medical information to give the disability examiner an idea of your functional limitations.
While disability examiners go through medical records looking for information as to the severity of impairments and functional capacity, they are also looking at work history. Since Social Security disability involves having a severe medical or mental impairment (or impairments as is usually the case) and an inability to perform substantial work activity (SGA).
Disability examiners are also looking for your relevant work history. Relevant work history is anything in the past fifteen years that involved SGA-level work activity, lasted three months or more, and that an applicant had time to learn the job.
The work information you supplied during your disability interview is most likely not very thorough if you had more than one job in the past fifteen years. As a general rule, you will be sent a work history report form to complete (describe your job duties thoroughly, being careful to give an accurate assessment of the mental and physical demands of each job).
This form allows you to describe many past jobs as you performed them. The disability examiner must look at each of your relevant jobs and determine if you could go back to any of those jobs considering your current limitations or residual functional capacity (what you are able to do in spite of your limitations).
If they find you are unable to perform any of your past relevant work, they must then consider your ability to do any other kind of work activity given your residual functional capacity, age, education, and job skills.
If the examiner determines that you are unable to perform any other kind of work, you may be approved for SSDI or SSI disability benefits.
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Topics and Questions
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