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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

Does Social Security Disability Depend on Your Level of Illness or the type of Work you did?



 
Actually, it depends on both. With regard to "level of illness", social security isn't looking so much at the condition that has been diagnosed, but, instead, at the functional limitations that exist as a result of the condition (or medical conditions if the claimant has more than one problem).

Functional limitations and having them documented in the claimant's medical evidence of record is very important because they are compared against the mental and physical demands of a claimant's past work, as well as other work that a claimant might be thought capable of doing.

Unfortunately, the great majority of physician records...are not highly illustrative when it comes to functional capacity. Doctors write their notes for themselves and other doctors, and in keeping with this they record the information that they find useful. Typically, this does not include observations such as how long a person can sit or stand, whether or not they can stoop or crouch, what their exertional abilities might be, and so forth.

Yet, this is exactly the type of information that the social security administration is looking for. It' not hard to guess that, because doctors are not in the habit of recording notes that point to residual functional capacity, it can be difficult to get a clear opinion from them (which is why a residual functional capacity form can be so useful).

Will a Social Security Disability or SSI disability claim depend on the type of work you did? In a sense. If your current rated limitations (rated by the disability examiner who is assigned to process your case and the medical consultant attached to the examiner's unit) exceed the demands of your past work and other types of work that social security might think you capable of doing, you can be medically approved for disability.

However, here it becomes very clear that having higher levels of job skills, or a greater level of education, or a history of less exertionally-demanding work can work against you. Why? Because your medical-vocational profile will show that either A) you can return to your past work or B) you are in a better position to do some type of work other than what you normally did. This, of course, is why attention to your work history, and having your past work history properly classified, can be very important.








Essential Questions

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Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state



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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to claim disability
Disability claim appeal status
How to get you Social Security Disability status
How does a person qualify for disability benefits?
How do you Apply for SSI?
How Much Income Can you Earn If you draw Social Security Disability?
Can you work if you get SSI?
How long will you get disability after an award notice?
If You Get Social Security Disability or SSI, Will Your Dependents Get A Check?
Social Security Disability denied
Time on a Social Security Disability Decision
How to apply for disability for a child or children
Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability, What Do I Do?
f I get disability will my children receive benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI - Retroactive Benefits Vs Back Pay Benefits
How long do you have To Be Out Of Work Before You Get Social Security Disability (SSD)?
How to file for disability and medical conditions
What Does Social Security Consider To Be a Disability?
When does social security consider you eligible for disability benefits?
Qualifying for disability benefits with the social security administration
How to get disability
Will I be approved for disability on my appeal?
How to appeal a disability denial








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.