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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

Does The Social Security Judge Use The Same Rules As The Disability Examiner?



 
In theory, all Social Security Disability medical determinations are based upon the same disability rules and guidelines. To that end, Social Security Disability examiners are strictly bound by the disability criteria contained in the Social Security impairment listings and established vocational rules (sometimes called the vocational grid).

Disability examiners have very little leeway when making their medical determinations. This could account for the low approval rates for initial disability claims and reconsideration appeals. The national average approval rate for initial disability claims is about thirty five percent and the average approval rate for reconsideration appeals is only about ten to fifteen percent.

It is only when an individual appeals their disability claim to an administrative law judge hearing that their chances of being approved for disability dramatically improve. Now comes the big question as to why this is so if both disability examiners and administrative law judges have the same rules and guidelines to make their disability determinations.



The simple truth is that administrative law judges have more flexibility in interpreting medical evidence and in applying vocational guidelines. For example, administrative law judges have vocational and medical experts to help them with their decisions.

Vocational experts are generally local and are able to interpret the lack or availability of other types of work in the area that might be appropriate for an individual considering their residual functional capacity (what an individual is able to do in spite of the limitations impose upon them by their disabling impairment).

Disability examiners, on the other hand, must look at the national general economy when they make their determinations. Whatever the reason--more flexibility in applying the guidelines, medical experts, or vocational experts--the approval rate for administrative law judge disability hearings is the highest of all levels of the disability process.

National statistics indicate that about sixty-six percent of all disability claimants who attend a disability hearing are approved.








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

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Related pages:

Can you receive short-term disability if you receive SSDI checks?
Will my disability pay go back to the day I became disabled?
How far back will they go on a disability back payment?
Social Security Disability and Going In Front Of A Judge - What Happens?
Do Most People Need To See A Judge To Get Disability Benefits From Social Security?
Can you still Appeal if the Judge denies your Disability Claim?
Is An ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) More Likely To Grant A Claim For Social Security Disability or SSI?
How Long Does It Take To Go Before A Judge For Disability Benefits?
Does The Social Security Judge Use The Same Rules As The Disability Examiner?
How do I see a judge for my Social Security Disability case or SSI Claim?
Do you have to see a judge to get disability benefits?
When do you see a judge for a Social Security Disability or SSI claim?
What Percentage Of Social Security Disability or SSI Cases Does A Judge Deny?
Social Security Disability For Back Condition pain in California
How much can you make in California and still apply for disability?
Disability requirements and criteria in California



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.