Overview of Disability

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How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

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Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

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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

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SSDRC Disability Blog

Disability applications can be hard and here's why

A statement was recently made on a health forum: "I really tried to be thorough on my disability application and it just seems unfair that they have to make the process so hard".

The poster didn't elaborate so it was difficult to know exactly what they meant by the process being so hard. However, it wouldn't be hard to make a guess, or through a handful of guesses arrive at their chief complaint.

So, what is so hard about filing for disability? Here's a short list I've compiled.

1. The process takes a long time. A long time at the disability application level, a long time at the request for reconsideration level, and a long time at the hearing level. None of which makes anything easier for an individual (or their family) who has physical or mental problems and cannot work at a level that earns the equivalent of substantial gainful activity.

2. The great majority of claims are denied at the application level. Yes, this happens despite the fact that more than half of all claimants who appeal all the way to a disability hearing get approved. If SSA is going to approve 50 percent of the claimants they initially denied for benefits in the first place, then why make them go through the ordeal at all. Some would argue that this is a cost cutting mechanism. I cannot tell you how many individuals I have personally encountered over the years who informed me that that they had previously filed for disability, got denied, and then chose to give up on their claim (big mistake--you should always always appeal). Luckily, these individuals decided to file again at some point. But...what about all the people who give up and never try again.

The federal government saves a lot of money on these individuals.

3. You can never seem to get answers to basic questions about how the social security disability system works. This is actually this site because I realized that claimants often had very basic questions that they weren't getting answers to. Why is it so hard to get answers? Here's my theory. Claimants often pose their questions to the individuals who take their disability claims. These indivduals are CRs, or claims reps. They work at social security field offices and they process disability claims. However, and this is an important distinction, they don't actually make the medical decision on an SSD or SSI case. In fact, they typically know almost NOTHING about how the disability process works.

Why? Because it's not their job to know. The job of rendering a decision on a disability case is the job of a disability examiner (which I used to be). However, disability examiners are not front-line contact personnel. In fact, if you file a claim you may never speak to your examiner (though very often you will since they usually need to get information about your medical sources, work history, or activities of daily living).

Why is filing for disability so hard? These are just a few reasons. There are a lot more, and perhaps those will be the subject of a later post.

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

Related pages:

Permanent disability benefits
Receiving SSI Disability and having Marital Income
Older Medical Records for a Disability Claim
Social Security Disability, Cobra, and Medicare Eligibility
Appealing a denial of Social Security Disability or SSI
How long does your condition have to last to qualify for disability?
What SSA means by disabled and disability
Eligible for disability back pay benefits
How long does SSDI and SSI disability take to get?
How to file for disability in Indiana
How to file for disability in Alabama
SSD, SSDI, SSI impairments list
Filing for disability with psoriatic arthritis
Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability, What Do I Do?
Personality Disorder and Filing for Disability

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

How to check the status of my Social Security disability claim
To qualify for disability, what to prove
Preparation to win a disability hearing
Social Security Disability lawyers FAQ
How Much Income Can you Earn If you draw Social Security Disability?
What does Social Security Disability SSI pay, how much?
Social Security Disability Maximum back pay
Social Security Disability Claims and Medical Exams
What is qualifying for disability benefits based on?
Partial Social Security Disability SSI benefits
Filing for disability and financial help
Getting approved after a Social Security Disability Psychological exam
How long does it take to receive disability benefits after you are approved?
Does Social Security Disability Come With Medicaid Benefits?
Applying for Disability or SSI - How long does it take
Can you work if you get Social Security Disability?
Am I eligible to receive disability benefits?
What medical disabilities, conditions qualify for Disability Benefits?
How to get disability for degenerative disc disease
What mental problems qualify for disability?
Conditions that get approved for disability