Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Social Security Disability and SSI Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability Back Pay Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Ask a question, get an answer
What kind of cases win disability benefits ?
Unfortunately, there are no specific kinds of cases that win disability benefits, as each person who files for Social Security disability or SSI disability has unique conditions and limitations.
However, disability cases that involve paralysis of extremities, mental retardation (depending on severity), statutory blindness, total deafness, terminal disease processes such as cancer, ALS (also known as Lou Gehrigís disease), severe cardiovascular impairments, kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant, and severe neurological impairments that cause significant disruption of function are likely candidates for approval of disability benefits at the initial disability claim level.
The reason that these types of conditions often win disability benefits at the initial disability claim level is that they often meet or equal the listing criteria of an impairment listing. Social Security has a disability handbook known as the blue book that contains a list of impairments of all of the body systems. Each of these impairment listings has the criteria needed to meet or equal the severity requirements of Social Security disability (and SSI since both programs are evaluated in the same way).
People who have cases that involve these conditions listed above and other severe conditions are more likely to win their disability benefits on their initial claim (disability application).
However, this does not mean that people who file for disability with other conditions will not win their disability cases at some point in the Social Security disability appeal process.
The Odds of Winning on the First Appeal
If an initial disability case does not win disability benefits, the disability applicant may still win benefits at one of the appeal levels. The first appeal level is a request for reconsideration appeal. Reconsideration appeals have the lowest chance of winning an applicant disability benefits (depending on one's state of residence, they may only have a 12-14 percent chance of being approved for disability at the reconsideration level).
Reconsiderations are just a review of the initial disability determination. If the disability examiner who made the initial disability decision was correct according to the criteria outlined in the blue book, there is very little chance of a disability caseís medical decision being changed.
The Increased Odds of Winning at a Hearing
However, the reconsideration appeal is still a necessary step toward a disability case winning disability benefits. This is because if a disability applicant sticks with the process they will file a second appeal. The second appeal is a request for hearing before an administrative law judge. Statistically, the odds are in favor of claimants who pursue their claim to the hearing level, particularly if their case is well prepared and well presented.
Claimants with representation typically have a better than sixty percent chance of winning benefits at a disability hearing conducted by a federal administrative law judge. And disability cases involving the following conditions have a very good chance of winning disability benefits at a hearing:
Social Security does not decide disability cases on the basis of a diagnosis, no matter what that diagnosis is.
SSA will award disability benefits on the basis of how limiting an impairment is to a personís functional ability. If a claimant's medical records support the contention that a person is unable to perform the duties of their past work and also any other kind of job that their vocational work skills might possibly qualify them for, their case may win disability benefits.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
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 answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria