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
How does Social Security Disability get Information about your past work?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
How does the social security administration get information about your past work? Surprisingly, social security does not draw information about your past jobs from any other government agency, or even from your former employers (though employers are occasionally contacted to obtain additional information, if needed, though this is somewhat rare).
In nearly all cases, the disability examiner who processes the claim will rely entirely on the information provided by the claimant at the time of filing the disability application. This includes job titles, dates worked, and the duties of each job.
The disability examiner will use the work history information provided by the disability claimant to identify each job in a resource known as the DOT, or dictionary of occupational titles. The Dot information provides descriptions of job duties as well as the physical and mental requirements of jobs. Accurately matching the claimant's jobs, as they were listed on the filing the, to the jobs listed in the DOT is extremely important.
For example, if a disability examiner incorrectly identified a person's truck driving job as "driver, light truck" (a light duty job) when in actuality the person was employed as a tractor-trailer-truck driver (a medium duty job), it could affect the decision-making process for the disability application.
Obviously, getting an accurate description of the work history is vital since SSD and SSI decisions involve vocational information as well as medical record information. However, the social security administration and the disability examiners who work on claims are entirely dependent on claimants to supply detailed and accurate information about their work history, just as they are dependent on claimants to supply solid information about their history of medical treatment.
As a disability examiner, I routinely received new cases in which claimants had devoted very little time to providing a description of their former jobs. In some cases, they even failed to provide accurate and discernable job titles. Without question, when this happens it makes it more difficult for a disability case to be evaluated properly and, as a consequence, more difficult for the case to be approved.
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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