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
How can I win Social Security Disability benefits?
How to prove you are disabled
and win 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: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page