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 ó how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
What does a lawyer do to help on a Social Security disability claim?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Your lawyer or representative will file all of your appeal paperwork for you, ensuring that it will be done in a timely manner, and done correctly. An obvious advantage of this, of course, is that you will not have to start the disability process again because of a late filing.
Late appeals--meaning appeals that are submitted after the end of the disability appeal period, which is 60 days from the date of the previous denial--happen in an unacceptably high percentage of claims. When claimants are represented, their representative will receive copies of all notices that are mailed out by the Social Security Administration. This tends to dramatically reduce the opportunity for missing appeal deadlines.
Additionally, your lawyer gathers medical record updates and physician's statements so that they may be used to present your case to the administrative law judge. Medical record updates are crucial at disability hearings because once a case is decided at the level before the hearing level, the reconsideration appeal stage, the Social Security Administration no longer gathers records for a case. Translation: once a hearing is requested, complete responsibility for getting medical evidence falls to the claimant and/or their disability lawyer or disability representative. If a claimant is not aware of this fact and is not represented on their claim, they may very well show up at a hearing with nothing to substantiate their claim, other than medical records that are months out of date.
One of the most important aspects of medical evidence is getting a qualified statement from a claimant's doctor, known as a medical source statement, or an RFC form. This type of statement tends to be given significant consideration by an administrative law judge and can be crucial to winning a claim. However, most unrepresented claimants would be unaware of this, or would simply think that a short, handwritten note from their doctor would suffice, which is not the case at all.
Once you are at the hearings level, your lawyer will make an argument for approval based on your medical evidence, work history, functional limitations, educational background and age. The lawyer, or representative, will attempt to secure an approval of your claim by either proving that you have a medical condition that meets a listing in the Social Security list of impairments, or by proving that your medical condition limits your functional abilities to the extent that you cannot return to any type of work activity that allows you to earn a substantial and gainful income.
In other words, your lawyer will present all of this information in an objective and logical fashion in an effort to win an approval based upon the medical and vocational rules which govern the Social Security disability program.
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