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How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

The Administrative Law Judge At A Disability Hearing has the highest rate of approval



 
The administrative law judge appeal level has the highest rate of approval of all the levels in the Social Security Disability process. About two thirds of all disability applicants who attend a disability hearing before an administrative law judge win their disability benefits. More people win their benefits at the disability hearing than the initial disability claim and reconsideration appeal levels combined.

So why is the administrative law judge hearing such a winning level for disability applicants?

Initial Social Security Disability claims and reconsideration appeals are both sent to state disability agencies that are responsible for making Social Security Disability determinations. State disability examiners must strictly follow the impairment listing criteria of the disability handbook “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security” as well as the Social Security Disability vocational guidelines when they make their disability determinations. They do not have much flexibility when making their decisions.

Basically, a disability applicant either meets or equals impairment listing criteria or they meet the vocational guidelines that, when combined with the limitations of the disability applicant, allow the examiner to approve their disability benefits on the basis of a medical vocational allowance (medical vocational allowances are based upon an individual’s age, education, past work, and residual functional capacity).



Although Administrative Law Judges have to abide by the same medical and vocational guidelines, the guidelines are much more amendable to the judges opinion as to an individual’s disability. Administrative law judges can consider the totality of an individual’s medical and/or mental conditions when they opine as to whether or not an individual is disabled or not.

They also use medical vocational experts sometimes to help them make their decisions and often these experts are more able to determine how an individual’s limitations affect their overall ability to find jobs with those limitations.

Disability applicants who follow the disability appeal process to an Administrative Law Judge Hearing are likely to get their disability benefits much sooner than disability applicants who file multiple initial disability claims. There is just no way around the fact that Administrative Law Judges have much more freedom when making their disability determinations than state agency disability examiners, so filing multiple initial disability claims is not an answer to winning disability benefits.








Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state



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Related pages:

Denied Social Security Disability Appeal
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Winning at a Social Security Disability Hearing
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If you apply for disability in South Carolina
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These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?









For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.