Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Why is Social Security Disability Denied in Illinois?

Why do applicants for social security disability and SSI in Illinois get denied on their claims? There are a number of different ways to approach this question. The easiest perhaps is to say that claimnts who are denied for disability failed to satisfy the requirements of a listing and failed to achieve a medical vocational allowance. In other words, they failed to meet the social security administration's definition of disability.

Answering the question this way, however, requires some explanation. What is a listing? What is a medical vocational allowance, and what is the social security definition of disability?

Listings are basically specific disability approval criteria that appear in the SSA blue book. This is a manual that lists the approval requirements for many physical and mental impairments. Not every impairment is contained in this manual, and, in fact, most aren't. But this isn't a bad thing if you consider the fact that it is very difficult for most claimants to be awarded disability benefits on the basis of satisfying the requirements of a listing.

What if you have a condition that is not contained in the listing manual? Can you get approved? Yes, you can, and the mechanism for this is known as a medical vocational allowance, a system under which most approvals are granted. Medical vocational allowances are based on the social security administration's unique definition of disability. In other words, if a claimant has a condition that is severe, has lasted at least a year (or can be projected to last that long), and this condition has prevented the individual from engaging in their past work and from engaging in suitable other (as determined by a number of different factors, including age and work skills), then they will be approved for disability.

However, another way to look at the question of why claimants receive a denial of disability benefits is to consider "strategic issues".

For instance, the unfortunate truth is that the majority of claimants who get denied on a claim for disability will give up and choose not to appeal. This, obviously, is a mistake. Especially since claims that are appealed to the ALJ disability hearing level have a good chance of winning (statistics indicate that a claimant who has been previously denied and who appears at a hearing with representation has a sixty percent chance of winning benefits). In other words, claimants that get denied and fail to appeal will remain stuck in the "denied" category, while those who appeal have a strong statistical likelihood of eventually being awarded benefits by a judge.

Secondly, claimants with a sparsely documented history of medical or mental treatment put themselves at a great disadvantage. This is because the adjudication of SSD and SSI claims is based solely on the evidence provided by a claimant's medical records. Consequently, individuals who have not received recent medical treatment or have a spotty history of treatment (being seen by a doctor once a year will not provide the type of documentation that the social security administration is looking for) will have an uphill battle in attempting to win disability benefits.

What if you can't afford to go to a doctor? This is a fairly common scenario. However, if you do not have health insurance and do not have the funds needed to pay a physician or clinic out-of-pocket, you should look for alternate sources of treatment. Even being seen in a hospital ER or at a free clinic is better than providing no treatment history at all.

Won't social security send me to one of their doctors if I don't have the means to go to one? Yes and no. The social security administration does not employ physicians for this purpose. They do have doctors on staff who assist disability claims examiners in the task of evaluating your claim.

However, these doctors are consultants only. When it comes to what is commonly thought of as a social security medical exam", SSA will send you to a consultative exam that will be performed by an independent physician who has contracted to provide this service. This physician will not provide treatment to you and, generally, the consultative exam will only last about ten minutes. Of course, you will typically only be sent to this sort of examination if you have not been seen by your own doctor in more than two months.

However, the point to remember about such exams is this: they seldom form the basis for an approval. Why do they send claimants to these exams, then? Simply for the sake of being able to state that recent medical evidence was obtained and evaluated. In other words, if you aren't getting treatment on your own, and as a consequence do not have a well-developed history of treatment...don't count on a social security medical exam to come to the rescue.


1. How long does it take to get a disability hearing scheduled?
2. How long does it take to get a disability hearing?
3. How long does it take to get a decision after a disability hearing?
4. How to get a disability hearing scheduled faster?
5. Getting a faster disability hearing scheduled
6. Can an attorney get you a faster disability hearing?
7. Disability hearing decision timeframe
8. ALJ disability hearing decisions
9. What to expect at a disability hearing
10. What happens when you go to a disability hearing?
11. After a disability hearing, what happens?

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    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

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Filing for disability in Illinois

    Applying for disability in Illinois

    How do you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

    Filing for disability in Illinois, when to file

    After you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

    Are you automatically denied for SSDI or SSI in Illinois when you first apply?

    Filing Illinois request for reconsideration after denied

    Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Illinois?

    Options after Social Security Disability is Denied in Illinois

    Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Illinois

    Do you need a lawyer for a Disability Claim in Illinois?

    Disability attorneys, lawyers in Illinois

    Choosing a Disability Attorney in Illinois

    What will an Illinois disability attorney do?

    Will hiring a disability attorney in Illinois get me a disability award?

    Social Security Disability Representatives and help in Illinois

    Social Security Claims and Disability Lawyers in Illinois

    Illinois disability appeals

    Filing a disability appeal in Illinois

    Which disability appeal to file in Illinois

    How many disability appeals do you get in Illinois?

    Getting a Disability Appeal on time in Illinois

    Eligibility, approvals, and qualifications in Illinois

    How to Qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

    Can a Specific Medical Problem get you Approved for Disability in Illinois?

    Eligibility and Qualifications for Disability in Illinois

    Can you get disability approved in Illinois at the reconsideration level?

    Miscellaneous questions about SSD SSI in Illinois

    Can you get disability in Illinois on your first try?

    How many Social Security Disability and SSI cases get denied in Illinois?

    Disability denial in Illinois, when to get a lawyer

    Social Security Disability Waiting period in Illinois

    Will I lose my SSDI SSI disability benefits in Illinois when my case is reviewed?

    Illinois disability hearings

    How to Prepare for a Disability Hearing in Illinois

    Odds of disability approval in Illinois better at a hearing vs reconsideration

    Illinois disability attorney representation after being denied

    Illinois mental disability

    Approved for disability in Illinois with a mental condition

    Mental testing for an SSDI or SSI disability claim in Illinois

    Filing for Disability with depression in Illinois

    Illinois disability decisions

    Who makes the SSD or SSI decision in Illinois

    How long does it take to get a disability decision in Illinois?

    What is the Social Security Disability decision making process in Illinois?

    Illinois disability, working and work credits

    Work credits in Illinois to be covered for Social Security disability

    How to get your disability status in Illinois

    If you get and receive disability benefits in Illinois, can you work?

    Can you apply for social security disability or SSI in Illinois if you are working?

    Illinois disability denials

    Why is Social Security Disability and SSI Denied in Illinois?

    Denied on a Disability Reconsideration in Illinois

    Illinois Disability Claim was Denied, Should I Reapply?

    Denied the second time for Social Security Disability in Illinois