Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

What do you need to provide for approval at a disability hearing?

To get approved at a disability hearing, you will basically need the same information that your claim needed at the disability application level and the reconsideration appeal level.

Your claim needs to meet the SSA definition of disability; therefore it needs to show that your medical condition is severe enough to prevent you from working and earning a substantial and gainful income for at least a full year.

Note: this does not mean that you cannot work. It DOES mean that you cannot work and earn more than the allowable earnings limit. Also, it does not mean that you need to be out of work for a year BEFORE you even apply for benefits. SSA can review your claim and determine if your condition will be this severe; in other words, they can make a projection.

To get approved at a hearing

One: You need to gather current medical records and have this submitted to the ALJ at the hearing office before the hearing occurs. Doesn’t Social Security get your medical records? Yes, but only if your claim is at the reconsideration appeal or disability application level. At the hearing, the burden of getting records is on the claimant, or their disability lawyer/attorney/representative if one is handling the case.

Why is getting updated records so important? Simply because after your disability hearing is requested, it may be a year or longer before your hearing takes place. Obviously, this means that unless updated medical records are obtained for the hearing, the judge will be looking at relatively older records. And this will make it impossible for the judge to approve the disability claim.

Two: At a hearing, it is especially important to get an objective statement from one of your treating physicians. This is called a medical source statement. These kinds of statements typically do not help a case at the application or reconsideration appeal level. But at a hearing, they often help win the case. A medical source statement will not give a diagnosis, but, rather, it will explain in detail how a person is functionally limited (for example, standing, sitting, reaching, bending, concentrating, remembering, etc).

If you have good updated medical records, and a strong medical source statement at your hearing, your chances of getting approved for disability will go up considerably.

Things that may help to get your claim approved

If you have a disability hearing coming up, there are a few things that may help get your disability claim approved.

If possible, you need to have current medical information in your disability claim as well as a good history of medical treatment for your disabling conditions. Current medical treatment for Social Security disability is any treatment that has occurred within the past three months.

The administrative law judge generally reviews your disability case file prior to the hearing and they form an opinion as to their potential decision based upon the medical information contained in your file.

Remember, you are going to be in front of an administrative law judge so dress accordingly. You should also be on time and prepared for your hearing. What do I mean by “be prepared for your hearing”? You must be prepared to answer any questions the judge might ask you. Sometimes, the judge asks questions and other times they may not.

Lastly, congressional statistics suggest that disability claims with professional representation are about 21% more likely to be an approval than those with no representation.

Representatives know Social Security vocational guidelines and case law or representatives are able to present your disability case in a more effective way. They will also make sure that your disability claim is as up to date as possible.

  • 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 happens after you request a disability hearing?
    Steps and Tips for requesting a disability hearing
    Winning at a Social Security Disability Hearing
    The Administrative Law Judge Social Security Disability Hearing
    Social Security Disability Hearings - What is the ALJ
    Waiting for a Hearing to be Scheduled before an ALJ, Administrative Law Judge
    Social Security Judge Decision at the Disability Hearing
    Full favorable decision at a disability hearing
    What happens when you go to a Social Security disability hearing
    What questions get asked at a social security disability or SSI hearing?
    Representation and winning at a disability hearing
    Do I need a lawyer at the disability hearing
    Appealing a Social Security Disability or SSI Denial with a Disability Hearing Before an ALJ
    Preparing for a Disability Hearing to Win Social Security or SSI Benefits Getting a Disability Lawyer in California
    Will I qualify for disability Benefits in California?
    How long does it take to get disability in California?

    These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

    Do I need an attorney to win disability?
    How Long Does It Take To Go Before A Judge For Disability?
    Will a Judge give you an Immediate Decision at the Disability Hearing?
    What happens when you go to a disability hearing?
    Social Security Disability SSI and Medical conditions
    Social Security Disability lawyer fee
    Can a lawyer or attorney speed up my disability case?
    When can I expect my first disability check and my back pay check?
    Going to a medical exam for Social Security Disability or SSI
    Filing for disability - How to file the disability application
    Do you need a lawyer to file for disability?
    How Far Back Can SSI Back Pay Be Paid?
    Can you get temporary Social Security disability or SSI benefits?
    The Social Security Disability Award Letter
    Social Security Disability SSI Eligibility Requirements
    How Many Times Will you be denied before You Get Approved for Disability?
    What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
    How to Prove disability and qualify to win benefits
    How to speed up the disability process
    Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes
    What should you say if you go to a Social Security Exam?
    Maximum back pay you can get from Social Security Disability or SSI
    How to qualify for disability
    What is the Social Security Disability List of Impairments?
    What is considered a disability by Social Security?
    How Long Does A Social Security Disability Appeal Take?
    How does back pay for Social Security disability work?
    Your Social Security Disability Status
    How do you find out if a disability claim has been approved or denied?
    How to check Social Security Disability Status
    Applying for disability, what medical conditions can you apply for?
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
    How much does disability pay?
    Can I get permanent Social Security Disability or SSI?
    How long will it take to get a disability decision letter?
    Social Security Disability and SSI Medical Exams
    How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
    How Long to get a Disability Hearing decision?
    How long to get disability benefits after you receive an award notice?
    Social Security Disability and Working
    What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
    How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
    How Much Income Can A Person Earn If He Draws Social Security Disability?
    Partial disability benefits from Social Security
    Can I Qualify For Disability for Depression?