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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

Is the Medical Criteria to Get Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits hard?



 
The Social Security Disability and SSI programs are not partial disability benefit or temporary disability benefit programs. By contrast, both are total disability programs. This essentially means that the benefits provided by each program is not meant for individuals who have impairments or conditions that are likely to improve to the extent that they are able to return to work in less than twelve months (for example, simple fractures).

Additionally, unlike other disability programs such as workers compensation or VA benefits, the Social Security Administration does not allow percentage disability benefits (that are payable based on a percentage of infirmity and which may be payable even if a person is working a full time job).

Under SSA guidelines and regulations, a person's case must conform to a relatively high standard; they must prove that their disabling condition precludes the performance of not only their past job or jobs, but also any other type of job in the general economy for which their age, job skills, and education might otherwise qualify them.

Social Security sets rigorous disability medical criteria to address the severity of a person’s disabling condition. SSA disability examiners make their disability medical determinations with a disability guidebook (the blue book, titled “Disability Evaluation under Social Security”) that contains impairment listings for all body systems. If a disability applicant meets or equals the severity listing criteria of an impairment listing and they are not performing substantial work activity, they may be approved for disability benefits.



Unfortunately, most individuals are not able to meet or even medically equal an impairment listing. If they do not satisfy the listing criteria of a condition in the blue book (the social security list of impairments), they have to undergo a sequential evaluation process that begins with a medically determinable impairment, but also includes:

A) Documentation as to the severity of the impairment,

B) An evaluation of the limitations imposed by the impairment,

C) A determination of residual functional capacity (what the applicant is able to do in spite of their disability)

and

D) An evaluation of their ability to perform any of their past work when their residual functional capacity is considered.

If the applicant cannot meet the requirements of any of their past work, the disability examiner must determine if they are able to do any other suitable type of job ("suitable" meaning when their residual functional capacity, age, education, and job skills are considered). Social Security Disability or SSI disability applicants are only approved for disability benefits if they are found unable to do any of their past work or any other work for which they might be qualified.








Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state



Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

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Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?



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Who can help me file for disability?




Related pages:

When does social security consider you eligible for disability benefits?
Who is eligible for SSI Disability?
Disability Criteria - Eligibility For Social Security and SSI Disability
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
Social Security Disability and SSI Mental Claims and Criteria
Can you apply for disability on the basis of multiple health problems?
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
Inability to Work and Eligibility for Social Security Disability and SSI Benefits
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
If You Are Currently Working Are You Eligible To Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?
Will Being A Veteran Affect Your Eligibility And Chances For Social Security Disability?
Are SSD and SSI disability cases decided the same way in terms of Eligibility?
Is the Medical Criteria to Get Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits hard?
Criteria for how Social Security Disability is Awarded
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
Social Security Disability, medium work, and your records
SSD, SSI, and medium, light, and sedentary work
What Does Social Security Consider To Be a Disability?
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Pennsylvania
If you apply for disability in Pennsylvania
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Pennsylvania?



These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?









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.