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
You can get Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI benefits in one of two ways
There are two basic ways to get Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI benefits.
The "listings" way to get disability
1. You can demonstrate, by providing a detailed medical history, that you are suffering from a condition that matches impairments listed in the social security administration (SSA) impairment manual, often called the “blue book.” The manual not only provides legitimate medical conditions, or disability listings, for which disability may be awarded, but also lists the criteria which must be met before this disability is proven.
A number of impairments do appear in this manual, including heart failure, seizure disorder, asthma, etc. However, there are many common ailments not listed, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), and chronic fatigue. Even bipolar disorder and rheumatoid arthritis are not given their own listing in the blue book, but are included as subsets of more broadly defined disorders.
If you do not have an impairment listed in the manual, you may still qualify for disability if you can prove that your condition is disabling to the extent that you are unable to work. This brings us to the second way you can get approved for disability with social security:
The way most people get disability
2.You receive a medical vocational allowance by demonstrating, again with solid medical records, that you have a condition that keeps you from either returning to your current job or performing another job for which you may be suited, depending on your current physical or mental limitations.
If you are asking for disability benefits based on a medical vocational approval, then your past work history will be given great weight by the disability examiner or judge deciding your case. The examiner or judge in your case will review your medical records to see to what, if any, extent you are able to work despite your current condition.
After your residual functional capacity (RFC), or ability to perform work-related tasks, is determined, the adjudicator in your case (either the disability examiner of your application or reconsideration appeal, or the administrative judge at your disability hearing) will review your past work history to see what jobs are available to those in your condition, and if you are qualified to perform any of those jobs.
In some cases it may even be decided that you are capable of returning to your current work, with some restrictions, such as no heavy lifting, or with some ergonomic adjustments to your work area.
It is important that you provide a detailed work history to the examiner or judge, so that they do not guess at the duties you performed based on your title alone. The judge or examiner will need to know exactly what you did in the past to decide if your past jobs are truly comparable to those that are being suggested as possible employment options.
When providing your work history, you should be especially accurate concerning any job at which you have worked in the past 15 years, or relative period of employment. In addition, jobs held for a year or more are given more consideration than those held for a brief time, so be sure to give special attention to dates, supervisor contact information, and duties associated with long-term positions.
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SSI disability Award Letter
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Disability Lawyer help questions
Social Security Attorneys, Disability Representatives
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.