Qualifying for Disability in Missouri

If you talk to enough people who have been through the ringer of qualifying in Missouri for Social Security Disability or ssi disability, you'll find many commonalities and shared opinions. For example, a great many claimants will remark on how long it took for their inital claim to be processed (which, more often than not, ended up as a denial for benefits).

Others who found it necessary to file a request for a hearing before an administrative law will probably comment on how terribly long it took to get a hearing date and then how long it took to actually receive a decision from the judge after the hearing was held and the qualifications were met. Last, but not least, claimants will comment on how hard qualifying and being awarded benefits is when you have condition x, condition, Y, condition Z, or all three.

Without a doubt, it can be difficult to be approved for disability benefits with many, if not most medical conditions. For example, back pain, a degenerative disc condition, ms, bipolar disorder, depression, a heart condition, copd, asthma...and the list goes on.

By the same token, however, it is likewise possible to be approved for Social Security Disability or ssi on the basis of nearly any medical condition as well. Why is this so? Because the way the social security administration makes approvals (and denials) on claims has little to do with what particular condition a person has been diagnosed with. Instead, the focus is on other qualifications, i.e. what a person is still capable of doing, despite their illness.

So, for example, if person A has emphysema, yet is able to persist at a job, that individual will not qualify to receive disability benefits (in the SSA system, you can still work and file for or even receive disability benefits, but your earnings must be under a certain threshold amount called SGA which is subject to change on an annual basis). On the other hand, if person B has emphysema and the condition imposes sufficient restrictions such that the individual cannot perform the requirements of his current or past work, or any other work, that individual will be eligible to receive disability benefits.

The concept that is employed by the social security administration is something called "residual functional capacity". And, in fact, when a disability claimant's case is reviewed by a disability examiner, an RFC writeup will be done by both the examiner and the unit doctor he or she works with to determine what the disability applicant is still capable of doing despite the effects of their illness.

Now, if you do some research into disability adjudication, you'll hear about things like the blue book. The blue book, or impairment listing manual, is a book that lists the approval criteria for a number of selected impairments (many conditions are not listed in the manual). You may also come across the term, "medical vocational allowance". These types of allowances account for most of the approvals made by social security and they work, for the most part, like this:

1. Does the claimant have a medical condition?

2. Is the impairment considered severe?

3. Has the impairment prevented (or will it prevent) the claimant from working and earning SGA for at least 12 months at a job they have done in the past, or at any other form of work?

Simply put, if a claimant does not meet or equal the disability specifications of the listing book (the blue book) for a particular illness, but yet also cannot work and earn at least the SGA amount, they can be approved for disability benefits on the basis of a medical vocational allowance.

Undoubtedly, qualifying for disability is difficult for many, if not most, claimants. However, this is as much a function of the shortcomings of the disability system as it is anything else. What do I mean by this? Consider this fact: approximately 70 percent of those who file for disability get denied at the initial claim level. But, for those who pursue their claim to the point where their case can be presented before an administrative law judge, more than half of these individuals will be approved. What does this mean? There's only one conclusion you can draw, really, which is that half of the disability claims that get denied by disability examiners should, instead, have been approvals.

And, of course, there are other conclusions you can draw as well, which are:

1. If you get denied, don't give up and don't be too surprised that you were denied.

2. If you get denied, make sure you take advantage of the appeals process, because, ultimately, you may be a better chance of winning disability benefits.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability in North Carolina

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI

Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

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

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

Filing for disability in Missouri

Applying for disability in Missouri

Whether or not to file for Social Security Disability in Missouri

File for disability in Missouri and prepare to wait

Qualifying, will I qualify for disability in Missouri?

Getting a Disability Lawyer in Missouri

Disability criteria, qualifying and qualifications in Missouri

What is a disability in Missouri?

Criteria for Social Security Disability and SSI in Missouri

What is a Qualifying Disability in Missouri for Social Security?

How to qualify in Missouri

Qualifying for disability in Missouri

How do you qualify for SS disability in Missouri?

Missouri disability qualifications, will I qualify?

General questions about disability in Missouri

Can you get a quick disability approval in Missouri?

Contacting Social Security for a Disability Claim in Missouri

Work credits and a Missouri Social Security Disability Award

Filing, applying for Disability in Missouri with Depression

Online disability appeal in Missouri

Review of my SSDI or SSI Case in Missouri

Missouri disability benefits

Social Security Disability Income in Missouri

How much will I receive if I am approved for disability in Missouri?

Disability benefits for children in Missouri

If you get approved for SSD in Missouri, do your kids get SSI?

SSD and Medicare Benefits in Missouri

Approved for disability and medicare in Missouri

Disability hearings in Missouri

Social Security Disability Hearings in Missouri

How do you file for a disability hearing in Missouri?

Will I get approved by a disability judge in Missouri?

How long for an ALJ disability hearing decision in Missouri?

Lawyer for a disability hearing in Missouri

How many are Approved at a Social Security Disability Hearing in Missouri?

Request for a Social Security Disability Hearing in Missouri

Disability denials in Missouri

What to do if a disability application is denied in Missouri

Why is disability denied in Missouri?

What if you receive a Denial at a Disability Hearing in Missouri?

Missouri SSI disability

Filing for SSI or Supplemental Security Income in Missouri

Supplemental Security Income in Missouri

Will SSI disability in Missouri qualify you for other benefits?

Who Qualifies for SSI Disability Benefits in Missouri?

Disability lawyers, attorneys in Missouri

Do I need a lawyer to get disability benefits in Missouri?

How do you choose a Social Security Disability Attorney in Missouri?

What does a Disability Lawyer in Missouri Charge if the Disability Case is Lost?

Cost of a disability lawyer in Missouri

Disability Lawyers for Social Security Claims in Missouri

How long does disability take in Missouri?

How long for a Decision for Social Security Disability in Missouri?

How Long Can you Receive Social Security Disability in Missouri?

How to Speed up a Social Security Disability Claim in Missouri