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

Will I be given an SSI Denial and will Social Security call my past employers?

Here's a question that was recently sent in by someone.

"Everybody always says that you always get turned down when you first apply. I applied for SSI two months ago, no attorney involved. I assume they will investigate with my doctors. Will they call my past employers or have an investigator follow me around to see if I am faking or deserve to get SSI?"

I have heard this sentiment many hundreds of times over several years: "It's pretty much guaranteed that you will be denied for disability the first time you apply".

First things first. No, it's not guaranteed that if you file for disability you will automatically be denied that first time. Statistics on approvals and denials tend to vary by state (which, I think adds strength to the argument for bringing the entire system under direct federal control) and they tend to fluctuate over time.

However, generally speaking, about seventy percent of all initial claims (an initial claim is a disability application) are denied. And the flip side of that is that 30 percent are approved. Nearly 1 in 3.

Secondly...or thirdly, since I'm going out of order, will SSA hire or dispatch an investigator to follow you around? No, this doesn't happen. Why? Because the social security administration is not an insurance company (insurance companies do engage in this sort of behavior so be mindful if you have a long term disability or workmen's compensation claim).

Thirdly, will social security contact your past employers? Not as standard operational procedure; however, the disability examiner who works on your case at the disability application or reconsideration appeal level may decide to contact one or more of your past employers to clarify information, such as the nature and duties associated with your past employment.

Why is this done? Because how your past work is classified can impact whether or not you are denied on the basis of being able to return to your past work. How your work is classified can also determine your skill levels and this can work to impact whether or not you may be denied on the basis of being able to perform other types of work.

The main point to take, of course, from item 3, is that it is very important to provide social security with an accurate and detailed description of your past employment and what it entailed.


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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Getting a disability approval
How to appeal disability denial
Disability hearing results
Helpful tips for going to Social Security Disability hearing
SSDI hearing decision
Denied Social Security Disability now what
Social Security Disability appeal status
Social Security Disability appeal attorney fees
I was denied Social Security Disability for the 2nd time
What happens after a disability hearing has been held
How long does a Social Security Disability judge have to make a ruling?
The Social Security Disability Blue book
How to get an SSDI reconsideration approved?
Conditions that get approved for disability
Social Security Disability back pay status
Denied Social Security Disability appeal
What to say at a disability hearing
Filing for disability with fibromyalgia
Tips for applying for disability

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.