Topic Categories:

Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Requirements for Disability

Applications for disability

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Mistakes after a Denial

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

Disability Awards and Notices

Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions

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How can I win Social Security Disability benefits?

Disability claims that are filed and become approved have certain characteristics in common.

Typically, if the claim was approved (at the disability application level, the reconsideration appeal level, or even the disability hearing level), this means that the claimant had given social security a full list of medical treatment sources and these medical treatment sources (doctor's offices, hospitals, clinics, etc) were able to provide information that--

A) Documented the existence of one or more severe physical or mental impairments (or both) that, in the viewpoint of the social security administration, had made it impossible for the claimant to perform substantial and gainful work activity for at least twelve months, or

B) Documented the existence of physical and/or mental impairments that were severe enough such that they could be projected to eventually have the same effect (rendering the claimant unable to engage in substantial and gainful work activity for at least twelve full months.

You can infer by this brief description of the way that social security views "disability" that the outcome of a claim is highly dependent on two things. One is the information contained in a claimant's medical records. The second is the type of work the claimant has done in the past.

To use an example: John Smith files for disability. His medical records are gathered by a disability examiner at DDS (DDS stands for disability determination services, the agency that makes decisions on disability claims for the social security adminstration) and are evaluated.

If the records indicate to both the disability examiner, and the medical doctor who is assigned to the examiner's processing unit, that John Smith no longer possesses the physical and mental capabilities needed to perform his past relevant work (work that he did in the last fifteen years), and, furthermore, that due to his age, education, and work skills he cannot be expected to successfully switch to some type of "other work", John Smith will be approved for disability.

Because social security disability and SSI disability claims are based on both medical and vocational (job-related) factors, it is very important for claimants to supply the social security administration with complete information about both their medical treatment history and their work history (for at least the prior 15 years). A failure to do this can lead to the denial of a claim.

continued at: What types of information is Social Security Disability looking for?

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

How can I win Social Security Disability benefits?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
What kind of cases win disability benefits?
How Likely are You to Win Your Disability Case?
Winning a Social Security Disability Appeal or SSI Appeal
What Will a Disability Lawyer Do to Win a Social Security Case?
What are the chances of winning a Social Security Disability Benefits hearing?
Preparing for a Disability Hearing to Win Social Security or SSI Benefits
Winning Social Security Disability Benefits For Mental Disorders

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