Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Claim Mistakes
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
SSI Disability Benefits
Child Disability Benefits
Working and Disability
Disability Awards, Notices
Hiring Disability Lawyers
List of Disability Conditions
What SSA finds disabling
SSD SSI Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability
Eligibility for Disability
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by
Questions and Answers
SSDRC Disability Blog
Tips and Advice for Social Security Disability and SSI Claims
This is a list of eight tips that are designed to assist individuals who have not yet filed a claim for SSD or SSI benefits. Following this list is a group of tips and advice pages that may be helpful for claimants whose cases are pending at the initial application level, the reconsideration appeal level, or the disability hearing level.
- Be ready for your disability application before the process even starts
Interviews with claims reps at field offices can be intimidating and a little nerve racking.
- Getting your medical records together yourself could help jumpstart your case
You may wish to consider getting your medical records together and submitting them when you apply for disability.
- Get your pain symptoms on record so that Social Security can take this into consideration
If you have pain, absolutely mention it when you apply and get it included as part of your disability application.
- Never minimize your pain or other symptoms because this can be used against you
Do not try to minimize your symptoms, your conditions, or how they affect your ability to do normal daily activities
- Always list every one of your medical conditions, physical or mental
Disability cases are almost never won on the basis of one single condition. They are usually won on the basis of several conditions which most people usually have when they apply for disability.
- Also list all your various symptoms on your Disability Application
A person's various symptoms can go a long way toward establishing just how functionally limited they are.
- A "proper" statement from your doctor can have a dramatic effect on your disability case
Your doctor knows what's wrong with you but do they know how it affects you and your remaining functional capacity, i.e. ability to work?
- Strengthening your disability case by providing the details of your work history
I have pointed out many times the fact that most claimants understand the importance of their medical records in reaching a determination on their disability claim, yet simultaneously very few claimants understand the true importance of the information contained in their work history.
More tips and advice
- Tips for filing a SSDI Reconsideration
Make sure you are properly rested before testing if you have to go to a psychological exam for Social Security.
- Tips for Social Security Disability Psychological and mental testing
Make sure you are properly rested before testing if you have to go to a psychological exam for Social Security.
- How to answer questions at a Social Security Disability CE examination
The last thing you want to do at a physical consultative exam is exaggerate your condition. At the same time, don't minimize your pain or other symptoms.
- Avoiding Mistakes to get your Disability Claim Approved
Once your disability case is at the state disability agency, there are some things that you need to do to prevent your disability claim from being denied for non-medical reasons.
- What is the difference between Social Security disability and SSI?
More differences between Social Security Disability and SSI -- The SSI disability program has no required waiting period; SSI disability beneficiaries are potentially eligible to begin their disability benefits with the month they filed for disability.
- Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI
In preparing for a disability hearing, an attorney will typically attempt to obtain a medical source statement from your treating physician (essentially verifying that you have limitations to the extent that you are unable to engage in work activity that provides a substantial and gainful income).
- Filing a Social Security Disability Application - How to File & the Information that is Needed by SSA
When should you file a claim for disability benefits with SSA?, How do you file for Social Security Disability or SSI?, What kind of information does Social Security need from your medical treatment history in order to process your disability application?
- What types of information is Social Security Disability looking for?
What types of information is social security actually looking for in the claimant's medical records and work history? With regard to the work history, social security is first looking for relevancy.
- Proving a Social Security Disability Case Often Means Getting a Statement from Your Doctor
To approve a disability case, the examiner will need to be able to find sufficient information in the claimant's records to show that their current physical and/or mental limitations will not allow them to engage in work activity at a substantial and gainful activity level.
- Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
In addition to current medical treatment information, your disability examiner needs to have information about your ability to function in daily life to make their disability decision.
- Tips for Getting Disability Approved When you File with Social Security
Be sure to provide treatment information as far back as you can recall. Make sure to do this at least as far back as you are alleging that your condition, or conditions, began.
- When You Apply For Disability, write Down Everything That Is Wrong With You
It is important to mention ANY mental conditions along with the physical impairment you have. Why? Because mentioning them may enable a disability examiner to rule out your ability to perform a past job that was not physically challenging but required you to stay on task, concentrate, perform complex tasks, remember instructions, etc.
- How do you find out if a Social Security disability claim has been approved or even denied?
Just a quick reminder: decisional notices are just one of several reasons that you should keep Social Security appraised of your current mailing address. If you move while you are awaiting a decision, you should notify both the disability examiner working on your case and the local Social Security office where you began your claim.
- Social Security Denial - What should be done if your disability is denied?
There have been cases in which a claimant sent in an appeal and did not follow up the receipt of the appeal, having just assumed that it was received and processed...and then found out, months later, that it had never been received.
- If I Get Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability, What Do I Do?
The trick to getting your disability claim approved if you are denied at the initial level (i.e. the disability application level) is to get to an administrative law judge disability hearing.
- How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
Something, however, that both the disability examiner and the examiner's unit psychological consultant will be particularly attentive to will be evidence of episodes of decompensation.
- A Social Security Medical Exam usually offers little to your case--nonetheless, do not miss the appointment
The most important thing to remember about a consultative exam is that it is a tool used to further the purposes of the social security disability agency (i.e., closing cases, denying claims) rather than those of the claimant (receiving benefits).
- Will the income of a Spouse Affect My Disability Benefits?
Excerpt: If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income, a.k.a. SSI disability, your spouse’s income may affect the amount of your monthly disability benefit...If your spouse has income it will not affect your Social Security disability amount.
- Getting Social Security Disability Help for your Case
Excerpt: Many disability lawyers and non-attorney representatives offer their services only after a claimant has filed and been denied. Some, however, will represent a claimant throughout their entire disability case beginning with the initial claim.
- Will my disability case be reviewed after I have been approved for disability benefits?
Why are disability benefits ususally continued following a review?
- Advice for a Social Security Disability Continuing Review
If you have engaged in any type of work activity, be prepared to give details as to the length of time you worked, how many hours per week you worked, your hourly pay, and what your job duties were, or are.
- Can I get my Social Security Disability Hearing Request Expedited, Speeded up?
If you choose to try to get your hearing request speeded up, however, you will need to demonstrate that one of the following situations applies to your particular case...
- Speeding up the Request for a Social Security Hearing - Documentation that is needed
A request to speed up, or expedite, a disability hearing will often go to a hearing office director. But in many situations, it will simply be sent to the hearing office director because the case has not yet been assigned to a specific ALJ (administrative law judge).
- Dire Need and Getting a Social Security Disability or SSI Case Speeded Up
Unfortunately, dire need requests typically have zero effect at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels. This is because there is usually nothing to expedite, meaning that disability examiners cannot make the process go any faster than it does.
- Financial Help When You Are Filing For Disability
If you are considering filing for social security disability (SSD) benefits, you are likely suffering from a medical condition that is seriously compromising, if not outright inhibiting your ability to perform tasks associated with work.
- How does a Disability Lawyer prepare for a hearing?
Most applicants for disability benefits are not aware of the fact that, although the social security administration will gather medical records to develop a claimant's case when it is being processed at the first two levels of the system (application and reconsideration), SSA will not gather records for a disability hearing.
- Why does Representation increase the win ratio at a Social Security Disability or SSI Hearing?
Disability representatives, whether of the attorney or non-attorney variety, will usually employ time-proven, systematic techniques for establishing the credentials of a case.
- Using a lawyer at a hearing to speed up the case
Back to the speed aspect, however, having a lawyer for your administrative law judge appeal may make the disability process faster by requesting the judge make a decision on the face of the record, or on the record. What is this?...
- How do you get Disability Approved when you file with Social Security?
Correctly, or incorrectly, matching the job title in the DOT with the information provided by the claimant when they apply for disability is critical--because even similar jobs (such as various truck driving jobs) can have very different skill and exertional requirements.
- What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
You may be able to help your case simply by going down to your doctor’s office and picking up the documents yourself, then hand-delivering them to the state disability determinations office.
- Tips to shorten the length of time for a disability decision
Some disability claims take longer to process due to a variety of reasons, which may include a lack of current medical evidence, an inability to contact the disability claimant, and missed medical or psychological exams which have been scheduled by Social Security (these are known as consultative exams).
- How to File for Disability - Tips for filing
You should have documentation of your birth, citizenship or alien status; Your work history; The names, addresses, phone numbers, and treatment dates of all the physicians, clinics, and hospitals that have treated you during your illness...
- More Advice on filing for disability
The ideal situation, then, is for a claimant to have their disability application approved quickly by the disability examiner at the first level of consideration, the state disability determination agency. This is indeed a rare occurrence, but it does happen, and at any rate you can help speed up the process if...
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | 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 | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
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