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

It is worth it to have your disability case heard by a Judge?

There are, no doubt, many thousands of stories out there about disability judges who were terse, rude, judgmental (no pun intended) and who simply made bad decisions on claims brought before them.

However, the fact remains: every claimant who goes before an ALJ has been denied on an initial Social Security Disability or SSI claim and on a first appeal. And roughly half of all claims that are taken to disability hearings...are won by claimants and their representatives. Because of this, I think it is reasonable to say that the ALJ (administrative law judge) serves as an equalizer, of sorts

When I was a disability examiner, we used to speak about the great differences in approval rates; that is, cases approved at DDS and cases approved at hearings offices. Unfortunately, most examiners were of the mind that ALJs approved far too many claims (which reconsideration-level disability examiners had denied).

However, the examiners who thought this way suffered from tunnel vision. They were unable to view the system in ways other than those related to their job function. The truth is, how you look at a disability claim and how you look at the person filing the claim probably depends a great deal on whether you actually meet the person.

Disability examiners do not meet the individuals whose claims they are deciding. Disability judges do. To an examiner, a claimant is a file, a job, a performance statistic for one's annual evaluation. And to some extent, this may be true of judges. But judges meet the individuals whose fate they decide. And because of this, for at least a few minutes, the file has a face.

Remember, disability evaluation is not an objective process. It is subjective and statements to the contrary are wishful thinking at best, and lies at worst---if it was objective, judges would not be overturning so many prior denials.

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:

Will a Social Security Judge give You an Immediate Decision at the Disability Hearing?
How Long Does It Take To Go Before A Judge For Disability Benefits?
Scheduled for a disability hearing before an administrative law judge
What Percentage Of Social Security Disability or SSI Cases Does A Judge Deny?
How long does a disability judge have to make a decision?

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

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?

Filing and applying for disability in Texas

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.