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

How to File for SSI

Continued from: How to Apply for SSI, Part I

How are medical records used to determine an SSI decision? The disability examiner who has been assigned to process the SSDI or SSI claim will sift through a claimant's records looking for evidence of functional limitations.

Functional limitations may be either physical or mental. If a claim involves either a physical condition or a mental condition, the examiner will rate the claimant's level of restricted functionality (known as their RFC or residual functional capacity, which is defined as what a person can still do despite their overall condition).

Very often, of course, the examiner will assess the claimant's physical RFC and their mental RFC as well since it is common that a disability claim will involve mental and physical conditions.

The residual functional capacity rating that is given to a claimant (For example, in the case of physical impairments, are they restricted from doing anything more than light physical work, or are they restricted from tasks that involve one of their senses such as vision or hearing.

In the case of mental impairments, do they have difficulty with short or long-term memory recall, or do they have difficulty sustaining attention or concentration) is compared to whatever physical or mental capabilities were required of their past jobs?

If their RFC rating (or ratings) is severe enough, the claimant may be judged incapable of going back to their past work, and perhaps incapable of doing any other work for which they might otherwise be thought capable of doing.

Why is it important to produce the medical history prior to the appointment for the disability application interview? Because, just as with the work history, accuracy is very imporant.

Speaking as a former disability examiner, I can state that many claimants fail to give sufficient information about their treatment sources when filing for disability. In some cases, the claimant does not give enough information for the examiner to distinguish one doctor or clinic or hospital from another.

In other cases, the claimant entirely omits the information. And this may be due to the fact that the claimant cannot recall the information during the interview. It may also result from a mistaken assumption that the social security administration can automatically access all of a claimant's medical records simply by having their social security number.

However, this is not the case and many claims are disadvantaged by the fact that the disability examiner does not have access to all of a claimant's records (due to the claimant not providing all of the treatment sources).

This phenomenon is often demonstrated by what happens at disability hearings when a claimant's disability attorney suddenly learns of a doctor or clinic that was previously unknown by the social security administration. It is entirely possible that had the information regarding the unknown medical treatment source been known, the claim might have been approved sooner and without the need for filing disability appeals.

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:

What Benefits come with SSI Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI Disability?
Legally blind with retinitis pigmentosa, can I file for disability?
Is There A Maximum Dollar Amount For SSI Disability?
Does sleep apnea treatment qualify a person for temporary SSI disability?
The SSI Award Letter from Social Security
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
Qualifying for disability in Missouri

Will I qualify for disability in Missouri?

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.