Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
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Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

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.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    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.

    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