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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

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.








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    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.