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

Can you win a disability claim on your first try?

The simple answer to this question is, yes, you can win a disability claim on your first try. However, most disability applicants will not win their disability claim with their first try. Statistics vary between states and also from year to year, of course.

Typically, about thirty percent of all claims filed are approved on a disability application. The remaining 70 percent of individuals who are denied will need to file at least one appeal before they can hope to be awarded disability back pay and monthly benefits.

Important points

How do you win disability on the first try? First of all, you need to make sure that Social Security has all your medical records, so be sure to list all your treatment sources. You cannot be approved without recent medical treatment records, so make sure there is not a long gap between the application for disability and the last time you were seen.

Secondly, it is not enough to be diagnosed with a condition. Your records need to indicate how your condition limits your ability to do activities that are required for your past work, as well as other work that you might potentially do.

Proving that you cannot return to work can be more easily done if your doctor or doctors make reference to your physical or mental limitations in your records. At hearings, disability attorneys will usually attempt to get a doctor letter (referred to as a medical source statement) to support your case. This can be done on a disability application or reconsideration appeal but will usually not have the same effect since disability examiners and disability judges operate in very different environments (judges do not have supervisors, for example).

Thirdly, if you are scheduled for an appointment for a Social Security examination, make sure you go. Not going can potentially result in a denial, and having this appointment repeatedly rescheduled can dramatically slow down a case.

How do you get approved for SSD or SSI the first time?

If your medical condition is so severe that you are able to meet or equal the criteria of a Social Security Disability SSI impairment listing, your disability claim will be medically approved with your first try.

Even if you are unable to meet or equal the criteria of an impairment listing, as we said, the limitations caused by your disabling condition may be so severe that they prevent you from doing any past or other work, especially when age, education, and work skills are considered.

If this is your case, you may be approved for disability through a second way, which is a medical vocational allowance. These allowances allow the disability examiner to consider other factors along with the severity of your limitations to approve your disability claim.

Some disability applicants are able to win their disability with their initial claim, while others win theirs with their reconsideration appeal, still others may have to go to a disability hearing, or federal court to win their disability claim.

Unfortunately, there are some who are not approved at any level with their application for disability with Social Security. But…if you are not approved for disability the first time but are still unable to work, you should file again because the odds usually get better with 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:

Get a Disability Lawyer before you File for Disability
How long does it take to be approved on a disability application?
Going to a Social Security Disability Hearing with a lawyer
Can you be approved for disability without going to a hearing?
What happens in front of a disability judge?
Social Security Disability judge decision

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

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?
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
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?

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.