Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

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.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

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