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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

Disability Determination in California



 
The Disability determination process can be a fairly frustrating and trying process for an individual who has filed for either Social Security Disability or SSI benefits and for the following reasons:

1. The disability determination process is typically slow. So slow, in fact, that it can take years to get through the system if your case is denied at the disability application level, is denied again at the social security reconsideration level, and proceeds to the hearing level.

Going through the application and reconsideration phase may cumulatively take a long number of months, of course. However, simply waiting for a disability hearing request can take one to two years, depending on where you live (most major metropolitan areas face significant backlogs, but backlogs are increasingly become part of the norm for Social Security Disability and SSI cases).

2. The disability determination system typically denies the great majority of SSD and SSI claims. The statistics tend to vary between individual states; however, the national statistics indicate that approximately seven out of every ten claims for disability are denied at the application level, while 81% of all reconsideration appeals are denied. This tends to produce the following outcome: if you apply for disability in California and get denied, you will probably need to go through the appeals process, at least as far as the disability hearing stage, in order to win benefits.

3. The disability determination system is flawed in the sense that adjudicators (disability examiners make decisions on cases at the initial claim and disability reconsideration levels, while disability judges make decisions on claims at the hearing level) do not request detailed statements from treating physicians.

Such statements---known as residual functional capacity statements---have a proven track record with administrative law judges at hearings. Why this is not done as a simple matter of rendering a medical determination on a case is not clear. Perhaps SSA simply does this to contain costs. Many physicians already charge a substantial fee for this, and would likely charge even more if the social security administration routinely sent out requests to doctors for the completion of medical statements.








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Receiving a Disability Award Letter

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Applying for disability in your state



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Filing for disability in California

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SSD and SSI applications in California

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Disability Denied in California

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If your disability reconsideration is denied in California

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Qualifying for disability in California

Qualifying for disability in California

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Disability lawyers in California

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Hiring a Disability Lawyer in California

Social Security Disability Attorney Fees In California

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Should you get a disability lawyer before you get denied in California?

Lawyer for a disability hearing in California

Why was I denied disability in California?















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.