SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
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?
More questions about SSD and SSI
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
What conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
A person filing for disability can potentially be awarded on the basis of any condition. This is because the SSD and SSI programs do not focus on the disagnosis that a claimant has. Instead, attention is paid to the severity level of the individual's condition.
The essential question that will be asked on any disability case will be: "Is the person's condition severe enough to prevent them from working and earning a substantial and gainful income for at least one full year". If the condition is severe enough to make gainful work activity impossible and this situation has lasted for one year, or can be projected to last for one year, then the social security definition of disability will have been satisfied and the person may be approved for disability benefits.
How does the social security administration determine if a claimant's condition is severe enough to meet this definition of disability?
If the claimant is an adult, social security will review the medical records and work history to determine if their condition will allow them to return to work or perform some type of other work.
If the claimant is a child, social security will review the medical records and most likely the child's school records (if they are of school age) to determine if the child is capable of engaging in age-appropriate activities, such as staying on pace with their peers.
The disability determination process used by SSA is designed to award disability benefits in two separate fashions. Both will involve meeting all the requirements of the social security definition of disability. The first is through the possibility of satisfying a listing in the SSA blue book, a reference source that in printed format is titled "Disability Evaluation under Social Security".
Most claims that are approved are not approved by satisfying the requirements of a listing. This is because the listing requirements tend to be very specific and demanding and meeting a listing requires that an individual's medical records contain very specific qualifying information.
Moreover, not all conditions are listed in the social security list of impairments. fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome are two very commonly cited impairments on disability applications and appeals and neither receives consideration in the listing manual.
The conditions that are listed are organized under the following body systems:
How, then, do most claimants get approved for disability? Most claimants are awarded on the basis of a medical vocational allowance.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page