Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after a Denial
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
Child Disability Benefits
Qualifications and How to Qualify
Working and Disability
Disability Awards and Notices
Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys
Social Security List of Conditions
What Social Security considers disabling
Medical Evidence and Disability
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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You can get Social security disability (SSD) or SSI benefits in one of two ways
There are two basic ways to get Social security disability (SSD) or SSI benefits.
The "listings" way to get disability
1. You can demonstrate, by providing a detailed medical history, that you are suffering from a condition that matches impairments listed in the social security administration (SSA) impairment manual, often called the “blue book.” The manual not only provides legitimate medical conditions, or disability listings, for which disability may be awarded, but also lists the criteria which must be met before this disability is proven.
A number of impairments do appear in this manual, including heart failure, seizure disorder, asthma, etc. However, there are many common ailments not listed, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), and chronic fatigue. Even bipolar disorder and rheumatoid arthritis are not given their own listing in the blue book, but are included as subsets of more broadly defined disorders.
If you do not have an impairment listed in the manual, you may still qualify for disability if you can prove that your condition is disabling to the extent that you are unable to work. This brings us to the second way you can get approved for disability with social security:
The way most people get disability
2.You receive a medical vocational allowance by demonstrating, again with solid medical records, that you have a condition that keeps you from either returning to your current job or performing another job for which you may be suited, depending on your current physical or mental limitations.
If you are asking for disability benefits based on a medical vocational approval, then your past work history will be given great weight by the disability examiner or judge deciding your case. The examiner or judge in your case will review your medical records to see to what, if any, extent you are able to work despite your current condition.
After your residual functional capacity (RFC), or ability to perform work-related tasks, is determined, the adjudicator in your case (either the disability examiner of your application or reconsideration appeal, or the administrative judge at your disability hearing) will review your past work history to see what jobs are available to those in your condition, and if you are qualified to perform any of those jobs.
In some cases it may even be decided that you are capable of returning to your current work, with some restrictions, such as no heavy lifting, or with some ergonomic adjustments to your work area.
It is important that you provide a detailed work history to the examiner or judge, so that they do not guess at the duties you performed based on your title alone. The judge or examiner will need to know exactly what you did in the past to decide if your past jobs are truly comparable to those that are being suggested as possible employment options.
When providing your work history, you should be especially accurate concerning any job at which you have worked in the past 15 years, or relative period of employment. In addition, jobs held for a year or more are given more consideration than those held for a brief time, so be sure to give special attention to dates, supervisor contact information, and duties associated with long-term positions.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
How to find out if approved for disability?
Will I be approved for disability on my appeal?
Disability requirements and how to file in North Carolina
Applying for disability, medical conditions
How to Appeal a disability claim denial from Social Security
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
A disability lawyer question
Will my disbility be stopped if I work?
Do I lose my disability benefits if I go to school?
Can a disability judge make a decision without a hearing?
Disability requirements, eligibility, criteria
What medical conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits
What Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Disability for a mental condition
Tips for Filing for disability
Financial Help Filing For Disability
Checklist for filing for disability, SSI or SSD
Qualifying for disability benefits, how to qualify for SSD or SSI
Filing a disability application: the steps
Disability award notice, how long it takes to get benefits
How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go?
What makes you eligible to get disability?
How to check my disability claim status?
Can a disability attorney speed up a disability case?
SSI disability Award Letter
How long to get approved for disability?
How to apply for disability benefits
How long does disability back pay take?
What are qualifications for getting disability?
What medical conditions can you file disability for?
Disability Lawyer help questions
Social Security Attorneys, Disability Representatives