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 You Apply For Disability, write Down Everything That Is Wrong With You

Social Security Disability determinations are supposed to encompass all of an individual’s impairments and the limitations that they cause. For this reason, you should write down all of your conditions even if you do not think that a particular condition is really what is disabling to you and preventing you from working.

For example, many individuals who file a disability claim on the basis of physical impairments that cause them to have chronic pain do not consider mentioning that they are also being treated for depression or anxiety.

It is important to mention ANY mental conditions along with the physical impairment you have. Why? Because mentioning them may enable a disability examiner to rule out your ability to perform a past job that was not physically challenging but required you to stay on task, concentrate, perform complex tasks, remember instructions, etc.

Again, for example, if you are unable to perform the mental demands of your "skilled, light duty job" due to your mental condition, the disability examiner may consider you unable to perform any of your past work due to the combined limitations of your physical and mental conditions. They may find that you are unable to perform any other work in the general economy.

Winning can result from having several conditions

The simplest way to explain the importance of mentioning everything that is wrong with you is that you have no way of knowing how any of your conditions may help win your disability benefits for you.

Social Security Disability examiners must determine what your residual functional capacity is and compare that to work that you have done in the past--assuming, of course, that you do not initially qualify for disability on the basis of meeting or equaling the criteria of a Social Security Disability listing impairment (listings for specific medical conditions are contained in the Social Security Disability list of impairments, known as the blue book).

Residual functional capacity is determined by looking at all of your conditions and how they limit your ability to perform routine activities of daily life including work activity.

Residual functional capacity is so important that the final steps of the five step sequential evaluation process (used in all cases where a person does not get approved on a listing) involve a determination as to whether an individual’s residual functional capacity prevents them from performing any of their past work (step 4) and also precludes them from performing any other work in the general economy (step 5).

If the disability examiner determines that your residual functional capacity is so limiting that it rules out all of your past work activity and it renders you unable to transfer your skills or to be retrained for another job, you may be approved for disability benefits.

In the end, your disability claim may hinge on an impairment or condition that you do not consider as important as another disabling condition, but it may enable the disability examiner to find that you were unable to do a past job, or that you are not able to meet the demands of other work.

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:

Should you Look at the Disability File that Social Security has on You?
How do I apply for a Social Security Disability widow’s claim?
Who handles my case if I apply for Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability Application Online
Can I apply for disability online?
Can I Collect Unemployment While I File For Disability Benefits (SSD or SSI)?
What medical conditions can you apply for disability for?
To Apply For SSI or SSD Disability Benefits, Where do I Start?
When You Apply For Disability, write Down Everything That Is Wrong With You
When I Apply For Disability, Should I List My Old Meds From Years Ago?
When I Apply for Disability - Should I apply for Social Security Disability or SSI?
What happens if you are working when you file for disability or work after you apply?
If Social Security Turns Down My Case Can I apply For Disability A Second Time?
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Alabama
How long can it take to get disability in Colorado?

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.