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 Long Does it Take To Get An Answer On A Social Security Application For Disability?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Once you file a Social Security application for disability, it is sent to a state disability agency for an initial disability determination. If an applicant’s disability application is based upon a terminal condition, there are special handling guidelines in place to process their disability claim quickly.
Disability applications based on terminal conditions are usually processed to completion in thirty days or less, so that the applicant will receive their disability benefits as soon as possible. Social Security has also created the quick disability determination (QDD) process which analyzes key data contained in the disability file. This analysis is used to predict which disability cases involve an applicant with a high probability of being disabled.
Lastly, Social Security uses the compassionate allowance process to approve individuals with various cancers, ALS, Tay Sachs, and a multitude of other severe medical conditions quickly. There are eighty-eight impairments that qualify for the compassionate allowance process.
While these processes help disability applicants with the most severe medical conditions, they are not available to all who file an application for disability with Social Security. Most applicants have to wait about three to four months for a decision to be made, because the disability determination process can take time.
Once an applicant’s disability file is received by the state disability processing agency, it is assigned to an examiner. The disability examiner has to review the file to determine if there is enough current medical evidence in the file to make a disability determination.
While Social Security disability examiners like to have at least a twelve month treatment history for an applicant’s disabling condition or conditions, they can make only make a determination on the medical evidence in file if there is at least some evidence that is no more than ninety days old. They will still request medical records from all the medical sources listed in the file, however if the records are not current they may still have to use a consultative examination to get current medical evidence for the applicant.
Social Security routinely sets goals to increase the speed at which disability applications are processed. Unfortunately, it takes time to get all the necessary evidence need to make a disability determination--especially if consultative examinations are involved. Coupled with a dramatic increase in disability applications across the country, it is not difficult to see why it takes so long to receive a disability decision.
If you file an application for disability with Social Security, you should be prepared for a wait unless you have a condition that might qualify for one of the streamline processes designed to help those with the most severe medical impairments.
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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