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
Medical Disability - How does Social Security view your work and medical records
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Nearly all Social Security medical disability and SSI disability decisions are made by considering A) your work activity over the fifteen years prior to the onset of your disability (when you stopped working due to your medical and/or mental condition) and B) the severity of your conditions, which is verified through the acquisition of the medical records you named during your Social Security disability interview.
If you do not have any current medical treatment sources, you most likely will be sent to a consultative examination by a physician (paid for by Social Security). Of course, it is always more beneficial to you if you have had some medical treatment...versus having your claim rely on a one-time examination by a doctor who has never treated you.
How does this process all work? Once you have provided Social Security with a list of your medical sources, they will send a request for records to all the hospitals, clinic, and physicians who have treated you prior to the onset of your disabling conditions (note: Social Security often develops a much longer medical history if you have provided medical sources that go further back than twelve months).
Social Security also considers the types of jobs you performed in the fifteen years prior to becoming disabled in an effort to determine if you could still perform any of your past jobs. If Social Security determines that you are unable to perform any of your past work activities, they will consider other types of work you might be qualified to perform.
What guides Social Security disability decision makers when they determine the severity of your medical conditions and what work you might be capable of performing? Social Security uses the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) to determine the physical and mental requirements of various types of jobs; additionally the DOT considers the skill level a job requires.
For example, if an individual performed a job that required strong intellectual skills to perform the job, social security may allow that job to be ruled out if the individual has a mental impairment such as severe depression, anxiety, loss of mental function (i.e. stroke, head trauma, aneurysm), or any other significant mental impairment.
For many disability claimants who have jobs that do not have significant exertional requirements (it is more difficult to achieve a Social Security disability approval if your work was classified as "less than sedentary exertion", "sedentary exertion", or as "light exertion"), their job needs to be ruled out, so that Social Security can determine if their skills are transferable to any other types of jobs.
I must mention at this point that Social Security's vocational medical guidelines also consider an individual's age. Generally, individuals over fifty five have a better chance for a medical vocational approval than younger individuals. An individual's educational background is also considered when determining a personís ability to perform other types of jobs if their job has been ruled out due to medical and/or mental impairments.
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