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

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.

  • 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

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    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:

    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?