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 types of information is Social Security Disability looking for?

What types of information is social security actually looking for in the claimant's medical records and work history? With regard to the work history, social security is first looking for relevancy. This means jobs that were performed within the past fifteen year period.

Jobs that are older than this timeframe will not be the focus of a disability claim because the work skills that are associated with them may possibly be out of date, or out of demand in the national economy.

However, for jobs that are within the relevant 15 year period, the disability examiner--or the adminstrative law judge if the claim is at the hearing level--will be looking for:

A) dates of employment,

B) job titles, and

C) descriptions of the work performed.

This information may assist the disability examiner in categorizing the claimant's past work.

Why does the claimant's work need to be categorized? Disability examiners try to match the descriptions of jobs provided by disability claimants at the time of the disability application with similar descriptions of jobs in something known as the DOT, or dictionary of occupational titles. Listings in the DOT will inform the disability examiner of the mental and physical requirements of a specific job.

Accurately or inaccurately identifying a claimant's past jobs can have a definite effect on the outcome of a disability claim.

For example, if a claimant states that their primary job for the last fifteen years was "truck driver", but does not provide enough information for the disability examiner to distinguish whether or not the job was really "tractor-trailer-truck driver versus delivery truck driver, then the claimant may place themselves at a disadvantage.

The work involved in being a tractor-trailer-truck driver is considered to be of medium intensity, whereas certain other truck driving jobs require less physically and, thus, are considered to be of light intensity.

Accurate information, or the lack of it, can certainly have an impact on a claim and can push a disability claim toward an approval or a denial. It is fairly easy to see how this applies to work history information because the social security administration is relying completely on the individual who is filing for disability benefits to provide the correct information.

But this also applies to information about the claimant's medical history. For example, though all individuals who file for disability list at least part of their medical treatment sources at the time of application, many applicants fail to list them all. Moreover, many claimants fail to accurately list when their various conditions were first diagnosed as well as how far back their treatment with a specific doctor or hospital goes.

Why are treatment dates so important to a Social Security Disability or SSI disability case? Because of something known as "onset". Onset is basically when a person's state of disability is considered to have begun. When a claimant initiates a disability application and a disability report form (form SSA-3368), they basically give an AOD, or alleged onset of disability. The AOD is when they think their disability began.

However, it's not until a claimant's case has been decided (and approved) that an alleged onset date becomes an EOD, or established date of onset. An established date of onset is when the social security administration considers a claimant's disability to have begun.

This is based on the medical records, and it is also based on the social security administration being able to obtain the earliest possible medical records. Of course, how far back a disability examiner may request records will depend on the earliest dates of treatment provided by a claimant when they submit their paperwork.

To recap, SSD and SSI disability claims are based on medical treatment information and work history information. With both, it is distinctly to the claimant's advantage to provide the most detailed and accurate information.

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:

Who qualifies for disability? - Qualifying is based on evidence of functional limitations
The Social Security Disability Approval Process and the Criteria for Decisions
How does Social Security Disability decide that you cannot work?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
Medical Disability Requirements for SSD and SSI
The non-medical Disability Requirements for SSD and SSI
If you apply for disability in in Louisiana
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Louisiana

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.