Social Security Disability RC

How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
Social Security Disability list of impairments
How to Qualify for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyers FAQ, Disability Back Pay

How does SSA determine if a claim will be a denial or an approval?

Someone recently submitted the following question which is paraphrased here: How does SSA determine a denial or an approval? If you have a condition that is on their list of medical conditions, why does it still have to be decided on? Why is there a 90% denial rate?

There are two ways of getting approved. One is by satisfying a listing. This means that a person would have a condition in the listings manual and also that their medical records would satisfy the approval requirements of the listing. So,its not enough to just have a condition that is in the listings. You have to meet the criteria as well.

The other way of getting approved is a medical vocational allowance. This is where a disability examiner or a judge will review the medical records and the work history of an adult claimant to see what their past work demands were, what their skills are, and what kinds of mental and/or physical limitations they might have as a result of their condition or conditions.

To get approved this way, it would have to be shown that the person cannot go back to their past work and cannot also switch to some type of other work. This is usually how a person gets approved for disability benefits.

As for disability applications, currently the national average for denials is about 77 percent. Very high. However, it has been at least 70 percent for at least the last 20 years. Meaning the system has always been hard.

A high percentage of people who are denied and decide to file appeals, at least as far as to the level of a hearing, will be approved. So, that basically shows that there are large flaws in the system if so many individuals are initially denied but are later approved after having to endure very long waits and appeals.

It also means that anyone filing for disability should prepare to file appeals and not give up on their claim because the long-range chances of winning are actually not bad.

Essential Questions

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Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida

For the sake of clarity, 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 homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.