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Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Maryland?

If you live in Maryland, your chance of qualifying for disability is better than average if you use the Social Security appeal process. In Maryland, only about 28 percent of initial disability claims are approved, making it necessary for most claimants to file appeals.

First things first, if you have been unable to work, or expect to be unable to work for at least twelve months due to a mental condition or physical impairment, you should consider filing for disability.

Filing for disability

You can file for disability at your local Social Security office by phone, or in person, or you can complete an online Social Security disability application online. Keep in mind if you chose to file your disability claim online you will only be able to file a Social Security disability application as there currently is no SSI disability application online.

If you think you might meet the income and resource limits of the SSI need-based disability program you, you should avoid the online process and should contact your local office for a disability interview appointment. If you are only interested in filing for Social Security disability, make sure that you complete the online disability report form and a medical release form as well. That way your disability application will be complete.

Once you have filed your disability application and completed all necessary forms, you case is ready to be sent to Disability Determination Services located in Timonium, MD; where it is assigned to a disability examiner for development. They gather medical records, work history information, and schedule additional consultative medical examinations if needed, in order to evaluate the severity of your disabling conditions. When they have enough information to make their disability determination, they will either deny or approve your disability claim.

What happens if the claim is approved or denied?

If your initial disability claim is approved, your disability claim is sent back to your local Social Security office for adjudication. If SSI is involved, you will have to have an end-line interview to determine if you still meet the SSI income and resource limits. Social Security will send a formal award notice to you once your claim has been adjudicated.

If your initial disability claim is denied, you have a couple of choices. You can give up on disability or you can file an appeal. If you are still disabled, you should appeal the denial with a reconsideration appeal.

In Maryland, as in all other states, the approval rate for reconsideration appeals is low. The reason for this is that reconsiderations are sent back to DDS for a review with another disability examiner. If the first disability examiner made the correct decision according to Social Security disability guidelines, the reconsideration appeal is also denied.

Reconsideration appeal approvals are usually the result of additional medical evidence becoming available and supporting a finding of disabled...or an error being found on the part of the initial disability examiner.

For most disability applicants, a reconsideration appeal is just a necessary step toward a disability hearing. The average approval rate for reconsideration appeals in Maryland is 15.3 percent.

What if the reconsideration appeal is also turned down?

If your reconsideration appeal is denied, you can continue your disability claim by filing a request for a disability hearing before an administrative law judge. This hearing is your best chance of qualifying for Social Security disability benefits. Administrative law judges have more flexibility in their disability decisions than disability examiners. Disability applicants in Maryland and all other states are more likely to qualify for disability at this level than any other level of the Social Security disability process.

The average approval rate for disability hearings in Maryland is 67.7 percent.

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

Individual Questions and Answers

  • Applying for disability benefits in Maryland

  • Hiring a Disability Lawyer in Maryland

  • Can I Receive More Social Security Disability If I Get Another Condition Or Illness?

  • How Does Social Security Decide How Much I Get For Disability?

  • How to apply for social security disability benefits for children

  • SSI Disability - Filing for SSI Benefits

  • Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process

  • How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go to apply?

  • Can Social Security Turn You Down If You Can Do Your Past Work?

  • Qualifying for disability benefits with the social security administration

  • What is a disability according to the Social Security Administration?

  • How to get Approved for Disability on the Basis of a Back Condition

  • Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

  • What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

  • Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process

  • Is there a list of conditions that will Qualify you for Disability Benefits?

  • Filing for disability by state of residence

  • Disability Lawyers by state