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

What kind of cases win disability benefits?

Unfortunately, there are no specific kinds of cases that win disability benefits, as each person who files for Social Security Disability or SSI disability has unique conditions and limitations.

However, disability cases that involve paralysis of extremities, mental retardation (depending on severity), statutory blindness, total deafness, terminal disease processes such as cancer, ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), severe cardiovascular impairments, kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant, and severe neurological impairments that cause significant disruption of function are likely candidates for approval of disability benefits at the initial disability claim level.

The reason that these types of conditions often win disability benefits at the initial disability claim level is that they often meet or equal the listing criteria of an impairment listing. Social Security has a disability handbook known as the blue book that contains a list of impairments of all of the body systems. Each of these impairment listings has the criteria needed to meet or equal the severity requirements of Social Security Disability and SSI (since both programs are evaluated in the same way).

People who have cases that involve these conditions listed above and other severe conditions are more likely to win their disability benefits on their initial claim (disability application).

However, this does not mean that people who file for disability with other conditions will not win their disability cases at some point in the Social Security Disability appeal process.

The Odds of Winning on the First Appeal

If an initial disability case does not win disability benefits, the disability applicant may still win benefits at one of the appeal levels. The first appeal level is a request for reconsideration appeal. Reconsideration appeals have the lowest chance of winning an applicant disability benefits (depending on one's state of residence, they may only have a 12-14 percent chance of being approved for disability at the reconsideration level).

Reconsiderations are just a review of the initial disability determination. If the disability examiner who made the initial disability decision was correct according to the criteria outlined in the blue book, there is very little chance of a disability case’s medical decision being changed.

The Increased Odds of Winning at a Hearing

However, the reconsideration appeal is still a necessary step toward a disability case winning disability benefits. This is because if a disability applicant sticks with the process they will file a second appeal. The second appeal is a request for hearing before an administrative law judge. Statistically, the odds are in favor of claimants who pursue their claim to the hearing level, particularly if their case is well prepared and well presented.

Claimants with representation typically have a better than sixty percent chance of winning benefits at a disability hearing conducted by a federal administrative law judge. And disability cases involving the following conditions have a very good chance of winning disability benefits at a hearing: Having said this, though, any disability case that involves a severe physical or mental impairment, or combination of impairments that have caused a person to be unable to work at a substantial gainful activity level for at least one full year could represent a case that will win disability benefits.

Social Security does not decide disability cases on the basis of a diagnosis, no matter what that diagnosis is.

SSA will award disability benefits based on how limiting an impairment is to a person’s functional ability. If a claimant's medical records support the contention that a person is unable to perform the duties of their past work and also any other kind of job that their vocational work skills might possibly qualify them for, their case may win disability benefits.

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

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How can I win Social Security Disability benefits?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
What kind of cases win disability benefits?
How Likely are You to Win Your Disability Case?
Winning a Social Security Disability Appeal or SSI Appeal
What Will a Disability Lawyer Do to Win a Social Security Case?
What are the chances of winning a Social Security Disability Benefits hearing?
Preparing for a Disability Hearing to Win Social Security or SSI Benefits
Winning Social Security Disability Benefits For Mental Disorders
If you apply for disability in Mississippi
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Mississippi

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.