Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications - What is the examiner looking for?

Disability examiners at Disability Determination Services (the state agency responsible for making Social Security disability determinations) comb through thousands of medical records each year looking for two things: A) objective medical evidence of the severity of alleged impairments as well, as any other impairments not alleged in the disability claim and B) statements as to a disability applicant's functional ability or limitations.

The latter is usually difficult to find as most treating physicians do not include functional capacity evaluations or even statements as to what their patientís specific limitations are. Most statements, if any, are fairly general and do not carry much weight in a disability determination.

This is why the disability examiner working on your disability claim will most likely request that you and your third party (an individual your named during your disability application as someone who knows about your condition and how it affects you) complete an activities of daily living questionnaire (your third party contact person completes a third party questionnaire). These questionnaires are used in conjunction with objective medical information to give the disability examiner an idea of your functional limitations.

While disability examiners go through medical records looking for information as to the severity of impairments and functional capacity, they are also looking at work history. Since Social Security disability involves having a severe medical or mental impairment (or impairments as is usually the case) and an inability to perform substantial work activity (SGA).

Disability examiners are also looking for your relevant work history. Relevant work history is anything in the past fifteen years that involved SGA-level work activity, lasted three months or more, and that an applicant had time to learn the job.

The work information you supplied during your disability interview is most likely not very thorough if you had more than one job in the past fifteen years. As a general rule, you will be sent a work history report form to complete (describe your job duties thoroughly, being careful to give an accurate assessment of the mental and physical demands of each job).

This form allows you to describe many past jobs as you performed them. The disability examiner must look at each of your relevant jobs and determine if you could go back to any of those jobs considering your current limitations or residual functional capacity (what you are able to do in spite of your limitations).

If they find you are unable to perform any of your past relevant work, they must then consider your ability to do any other kind of work activity given your residual functional capacity, age, education, and job skills.

If the examiner determines that you are unable to perform any other kind of work, you may be approved for SSDI or SSI disability benefits.

  • 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:

    Qualifications for Disability Benefits
    SSI disability qualifications for Adults and Children
    Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
    If you apply for disability in Alabama
    Will I qualify for disability Alabama
    Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications - What is the examiner looking for?
    Social Security Disability Attorney Qualifications and Expenses
    What are the disability qualifications in North Carolina?
    Does Social Security take into consideration gross earnings or net earnings?
    Will working part-time affect my SSD?

    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