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
What if you make too much when You Apply for Disability Benefits? (Technical Denials)
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Initially, Social Security must make a determination regarding non-medical disability criteria. For instance, if an individual is still working over the SGA amount (a monthly monetary amount that Social Security deems to be substantial and which indicates that a person is able to work), the disability claim will be a technical denial. This is a type of a decision that does not involve evaluating a person's medical records--technical denials are usually issued very quickly.
Technical denials may be given when a person is working and earning too much when they apply for disability, or when they lack insured status for social security disability (have not paid enough into the system to qualify), or have too much income or assets to qualify for SSI disability, which is a need-based disability program.
Essentially, technical denials will never be sent by the social security administration to the state disability processing agency (in most states, this agency is called disability determination services) for a medical determination because, in those instances, a person has not met the necessary non-medical requirements and further disability criteria that allows them to file a disability claim with the social security administration.
However, if the disability claim meets the non-medical criteria (meaning they are eligible to file for either social security disability or SSI), then the disability claim is sent to the state agency responsible for Social Security disability decisions and a medical determination will be made. The state agency uses disability examiners, vocational experts, and physicians to make medical decisions. The disability-processing agency must follow strict guidelines set forth by congress to determine if an individual is disabled according to Social Security rules and regulations.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
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