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
Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Alabama?
Actually, you have a fairly decent chance of qualifying for disability benefits in Alabama. Statistical data suggests that roughly thirty-one percent of all disability claimants qualify for disability benefits in Alabama when they file their initial disability claim with Social Security. The obvious corollary to this, of course, is that approximately seventy percent of claimants will need to follow the appeals process in order to win benefits.
How do you qualify for disability benefits? Primarily, by satisfying the Social Security Administration definition of disability. The SSA definition of disability maintains that for an individual to be found disabled, they must have one or more medically determinable impairments (which may be physical, mental, or both) that are severe enough to last at least one full year in duration and prevent them from engaging in SGA, or substantial and gainful work activity.
Meeting the SSA definition of disability will always entail a review of the claimant's medical evidence. After this review has been conducted by a disability examiner, the determination may be made that the claimant has a condition that satisfies a listing in the Social Security list of impairments. Most claimants will not be found to have a listing-level impairment.
Nonetheless, claimants may still be approved on the basis that they no longer have the ability to A) return to their past work or B) switch to some type of other work. This form of approval is known as a medical vocational allowance and it involves a review of the claimant's work history as well as their history of medical treatment.
If a claimant is denied on an initial disability claim, they may still qualify for disability benefits by filing a reconsideration appeal. Only fourteen percent of reconsideration appeals filed in Alabama are approved for disability benefits. While this is a disappointing approval rate, the reconsideration appeal is still a necessary step in the Social Security disability process, primarily because going through the reconsideration phase allows a case to move forward in the system.
After the reconsideration appeal has been concluded, a claimant may file for an administrative law judge hearing. The average approval rate for disability hearings in Alabama is about sixty percent; more disability applicants qualify for disability benefits at this level of the disability process than any other.
Individuals wishing to improve their chances of qualifying for disability benefits at a hearing may wish to speak with a Social Security disability representative. A representative can be a disability lawyer, or a non-attorney representative (many of whom are former Social Security employees, such as field office claims representatives, disability examiners, and hearing office personnel).
The approval rate for disability applicants with social security representation is higher than those who chose to forgo representation at their disability hearing.
Note: The request for reconsideration appeal step is currently suspended in the state of Alabama as Alabama is one of 10 prototype states testing a system in which denied claims move immediately to the hearing level upon appeal. Reconsideration may be reinstated at some point and many consider this likely. In the meantime, a claimant who is denied on a disability application should request, and prepare, for a hearing before a federal administrative law judge.
Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center
New and featured pages on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability Requirements
Social Security Disability list of impairments
Social Security Disability Application
Can you get disability for arthritis of the knee?
How much income can you earn on Social Security disability?
If you get denied at a disability hearing, can you win later?
How much can an attorney charge for Social Security disability?
Can you get approved for disability based on Ulcerative Colitis?
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
Individual Questions and Answers