Social Security Disability Resource Center
Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
There are really two different paths to being approved for disability benefits under either the title 2 social security disability insurance program or the title 16 SSI disability program, and although neither one is better than the other, there are differences in the type of evidence that must be supplied before eligibility can be determined and an approval for SSDI disability or SSI disability may be granted.
The first path to winning benefits and becoming eligible for SSDI or SSI is really the more direct and simplest of the two, and that is to prove, through physician diagnosis and documentation of treatment, that you have a medical condition listed in the social security administration (SSA) handbook titled, “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security,” also commonly known as the “blue book.”
The blue book lists impairments that the SSA recognizes as disabilities, as well as all of the criteria that an applicant must meet before the SSA will acknowledge that he or she suffers from a specific impairment, or listing. There are some conditions, such as blindness, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and schizophrenia, to name a few, that are so obviously disabling in nature that the SSA will automatically award benefits to an applicant if they can document that they suffer from the condition.
However, it is not easy to become eligible by meeting or equaling the requirements of a listing in the blue book, and if your medical symptoms match some, and not all of the criteria for a listing, you will not qualify for disability in this way. In addition, there are so many common medical conditions that are not listed, such as fibromyalgia, depression, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc., that the majority of disability applicants have to apply for disability based, not on their specific impairment or medical diagnosis, but on how their impairment prevents them from being able to earn a living.
Therefore, most disability applicants will follow the second path to winning disability benefits, and that is to prove, again through solid medical documentation, that they qualify for a medical vocational, or Med-Voc allowance. Disability approval based on the Med-Voc allowance is a bit more involved than approval based on a blue book listing. A Med-Voc allowance is awarded to those with impairments that prevent them from working, not only at their own job but at any other job to which they may be suited. When it comes to a Med-Voc approval, it is critical to supply a detailed work history (names of past supervisors, specific duties, and up-to-date contact information, please), as well as a residual functional capacity (RFC) form to your claims rep.
The work history will be used by the state disability examiner evaluating your claim to determine what types of jobs you might be able to do despite your impairment. The RFC is a statement from your physician detailing exactly what types of tasks, physical and mental, that you can perform despite your impairment. As you can probably figure out here, the Med-Voc allowance is all about proving that, because of your medical condition, you are unable to earn enough to make it without disability benefits.
While it is can be easier to be approved for disability benefits if you meet a listing, it is important to keep in mind that most individuals are awarded social security disability benefits based on a medical vocational allowance. If you do not qualify for a listing, do not get discouraged, but do be ready for a bit closer scrutiny when it comes to your work history and medical records and what they have to say about your ability to earn a living.
The following pages provide additional information:
1. How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
2. How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits
3. Are there ways to avoid being denied for SSI or social security disability?
4. Tips for Getting Disability Approved When you File with Social Security
Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center
The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers
Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI
Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
The SSI Disability Benefits Program
Medical exams for disability claims
Applying for Disability in various states
Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs
Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews
Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children
Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative
What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits
FAQ on Disability Claim Representation
Disability hearings before Judges
Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers
Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits
Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability
Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children
Disability Benefits through Social Security
Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records
Filing your claim for disability benefits
Eligibility for receiving disability benefits
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
Resources on this site
Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
About the Author of SSDRC, Tim Moore
For Individuals living in North Carolina
Applying for Disability in North Carolina
North Carolina Disability Lawyer
Tips for Getting Disability Approved How Long Will It Take To Get Approved for Disability and what determines this?
Can you be approved for disability without having to go to a hearing?
How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
Is There A Way To Get Automatically Approved For SSI And Social Security Disability?
How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?
What are the Odds or Chances of Being Approved for Disability?
How do you find out if a Social Security disability claim has been approved or even denied?
Can You Get Approved For Social Security Disability if you do not take medication or go to a doctor?
What are my chances of being approved for disability benefits in North Carolina?
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria
What are non-medical requirements and criteria for Social Security Disability?
How recent do medical records need to be for a SSD or SSI disability claim?