Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
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

Types of decisions on disability applications

Most individuals who apply for disability naturally assume that there are two types of decisions on disability applications: disability denial and disability approval.

And, for the most part, they are correct. At the intial claim level and at the request for reconsideration level, there are two outcomes, approval and denial.

However, at other steps in the social security disability process, there are decision types that you don't ordinarily hear about. One is the technical denial. This is a type of denial that occurs before a SSD case or SSI ever gets to DDS (disability determination services). That's because it never does get to DDS. A technical denial occurs when a claimants applies for disability at a social security office and it is quickly learned that the applicant is simply ineligible.

What would make you ineligible before your medical records are even gathered and looked at? Well, for SSI, if you have assets exceeding $2000.00, you are automatically ineligible for SSI disability, simply because SSI is a need-based program. For SSDI (social security disability insurance) OR SSI, however, a person could receive a technical denial if, at the time they apply for disability, they are working and earning more than the current limit for SGA.

At the disability hearing level, there are also two basic outcomes (approval and denial), but with a "twist". Claimants who are approved by a disability judge may receive a favorable notice of decision, but this notice may be either A) Partially Favorable or B) Fully Favorable.

What's the difference? If your decision is fully favorable, this means that the judge has granted disability benefits back to the AOD. AOD stands for alleged onset date and this is the date you claim your disability began. If your decision is partially favorable, this means the judge has granted you disability benefits, but not completely in agreement with when you believe your disability began.

In most cases, a partially favorable decision will be one where the judge has read the evidence and believes that the claimant became unable to work at the SGA level on a date later than the one stated by the claimant.

In a small percentage of cases, however, partially favorable means that a claimant will not receive ongoing monthly disability benefits, but, instead, will only receive benefits for a specific and finite period in the past. This is known as a closed period and it essentially means that the judge has decided that you were at one time disabled, but are no longer disabled according to social security disability criteria.

And, finally, of course, there are Unfavorable notices of decision, meaning that an ALJ has denied a claim. What happens when a judge denials a case? The claimant can

1. Give up.

2. Request a review of the ALJ's decision (this is the appeal involving the appeals council).

3. File a brand new claim.

4. File a brand new claim and simultaneously send a request for review off to the appeals council.

  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    The SSDRC Disability Blog

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Getting disability in North Carolina

    Related pages:

    How long does it take to get a disability approval letter?
    Help filing for disability benefits with Social Security
    How long or short is the Social Security Medical exam?
    Tips for SSD and SSI disability hearings
    How to find out if approved for disability?
    Disability requirements and how to file in North Carolina
    Applying for disability, medical conditions
    How long can you receive SSI or Social Security disability benefits?
    Will I be approved for disability on my appeal?
    How to Appeal a disability claim denial from Social Security What medical conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?

    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 provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

    What Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
    Disability for a mental condition
    Tips for Filing for disability
    Financial Help Filing For Disability
    Checklist for filing for disability, SSI or SSD
    Qualifying for disability benefits, how to qualify for SSD or SSI
    Filing a disability application: the steps
    Disability award notice, how long it takes to get benefits
    How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go?
    What makes you eligible to get disability?
    How to check my disability claim status?
    Can a disability attorney speed up a disability case?
    SSI disability Award Letter
    How long to get approved for disability?
    How to apply for disability benefits
    How long does disability back pay take?
    What are qualifications for getting disability?
    What medical conditions can you file disability for?
    Disability Lawyer help questions
    Social Security Attorneys, Disability Representatives