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

When is a Person Considered Fully Disabled by Social Security?

After you file for disability, your case will be evaluated by a disability examiner, a case processing specialist at an agency known as DDS, or disability determination services.

DDS is a state-level agency that is responsible for making the decision on a disability application, as well as the decision on a reconsideration (the request for reconsideration is the first appeal in the process and it is filed after an initial claim, or disability application, has been denied). Decisions at disability hearings, of course, are made by federally appointed administrative law judges, or ALJs for short.

The social security evaluation process that is conducted by a disability examiner can be quite lengthy and can take several weeks to several months. Typically, most claims at the application level will be decided in under 120 days. The process employed by the disability examiner will involve a review of the claimant's medical evidence and their work history if they are an adult.

If the applicant is a minor-age child (meaning that they would be filing under SSI disability), the evaluation process will still include a review of the medical evidence, but also a review of whatever academic and testing records may exist for the child, including grade reports, IQ testing, and achievement testing.

For either an adult applicant or a child who is filing for disability, the goal of the disability examiner will be decide whether or not the individual, as a result of their condition, has enough functional limitations such that they cannot engage in a normal range of daily activities. More specifically, this will mean for adults the ability to engage in work activity and for children the ability to engage in age-appropriate activities relative to same-age peers.

Being considered fully disabled by social security essentially means the inability to do these things. In the case of adults, the disability criteria can be described in the following detail:

1. The condition must be severe enough that it will render the claimant unable to work and earn a substantial and gainful income. This will include the inability to work at past jobs that are relevant as well as work in other types of employment that utilize one's skills and education.

2. The condition must be severe enough that it lasts a minimum of one full year while imposing functional limitations that prevent work activity.

Satisfying these conditions is required to be considered fully disabled by the social security administration. SSA does not offer the option of qualifying for disability benefits under a partial disability or limited disability option. To meet the social security definition of disability, an individual must be totally disabled and unable to work and their disabling condition must be considered somewhat permanent (approved cases are subject to undergoing disability reviews periodically, though the majority of post-approval case reviews are done every seven years).

Continued at: How is the determination for disability made by the social security administration?

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

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

If Am Medically Disabled, Can Social Security Still Turn Me Down for Disability for Some Reason?
How will Social Security find you disabled?
When is a Person Considered Fully Disabled by Social Security?
Being Determined Medically Disabled for Social Security Disability
How Does Social Security Decide If You Are Disabled Or Not?
What makes you disabled for SSD, Social Security Disability Benefits, OR SSI?
How Disabled Must You be to get Social Security Disability Approved?
How Disabled Do You Have To Be To Collect Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I apply for disability and my doctor says I am disabled, is there a waiting period to receive benefits?
Will my Social Security Disability check be lowered by a pension?
If you apply for disability in Ohio
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Ohio?
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Ohio
How do you appeal your disability denial in Ohio?

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.