Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

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

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

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 Gehrigís 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 caseís 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 personís 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.

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

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

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 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