Social Security Disability Resource Center

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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

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.








  • 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



    New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

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    Social Security Disability list of impairments

    Social Security Disability Application

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    How much income can you earn on Social Security disability?

    If you get denied at a disability hearing, can you win later?

    How much can an attorney charge for Social Security disability?

    Can you get approved for disability based on Ulcerative Colitis?




    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:

    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.

    Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
    How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
    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?
    How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
    Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
    Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria