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 Medical Evaluation Form, Can A Doctor Be Forced to Complete One?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Social Security disability examiners and Administrative Law Judges have to have medical evidence from relevant medical sources (i.e. licensed or certified physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, speech pathologists, etc.) to make their disability determinations.
The Social Security administration does pay medical providers (hospitals, doctor's offices) a fee for copying the records but providing medical evidence for Social Security is strictly voluntary. Social Security can only request medical evidence from an individualís treating physicians; they cannot demand any kind of medical evidence from a medical provider.
Sometimes, disability applicants who appeal their disability denial need to have a medical evaluation form completed by their treating physician to improve their chances of being approved for disability benefits. Very often, their Social Security representative (a disability lawyer or a non-attorney representative) will try to obtain a medical evaluation from known as a physical residual functional capacity form, or a mental residual functional capacity form, in order to present an individualís disability claim more favorably to an Administrative Law Judge.
Social Security does give weight to medical statements, or disability forms, if they give a diagnosis, prognosis, objective medical information, response to treatment, and an opinion as to a patient's ability to work at a substantial gainful activity level (SGA is a monthly earnings amount that Social Security considers to be self supporting). For this reason, getting a medical disability evaluation form from a doctor can be a great help to a disability claim.
Unfortunately, it is often difficult to get the doctor to complete a disability medical evaluation form or submit a written statement even if they have treated the disability applicant for years.
Sometimes, they refuse on the grounds that they do not have time to complete the paperwork, or they charge a high fee to complete them. Since there is no way for Social Security to force doctors or medical professionals to complete such forms, it is strictly up to the individualís doctor as to what they are willing to do to help their patient win their disability benefits.
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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