Social Security Disability questions

Expert answers to questions about getting disability

by Tim Moore, Disability Representative in North Carolina

If you are thinking of filing for disability or still don’t have an answer on your claim, this page can provide answers to many questions about Social Security Disability or SSI. As a former examiner, it was my job to know everything about how a person gets approved, and as a representative I put that information to use to win cases.

(Read if you live in North Carolina)

Social Security Disability and SSI make up a complex and confusing system for most people who have to go through the claim process. And that is why SSDRC has over 2000 pages on practically all Social Security Disability questions.

Tips for Getting Disability Approved When you File with Social Security
Be sure to provide information regarding the most recent treatment received. A Social Security Disability or SSI approval cannot be made without recent medical evidence. SSA considers recent evidence to be evidence from treatment that has happened within the last 90 days.

How does a person get approved for disability benefits from the social security administration?
As far as questions go, this is the most asked. For a claimant to be approved for disability, the medical evidence must indicate that they have sufficient limitations that make it impossible for them to work (at one of their former jobs or doing some type of other work) and earn a substantial and gainful income.

The Sequence of Steps to be Approved for Social Security Disability or SSI
The steps, in order, for being evaluated on a Social Security Disability or SSI claim, are the same for every case. Here you can learn how to provide what is needed to get disabiltity benefits.

The Social Security Disability Approval Process and the Criteria for Decisions
What follows is a short description of the disability approval process, which will hopefully help claimants or even potential claimants understand the process by which Social Security Disability claims are approved.

How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security Disability?
It takes anywhere from thirty to ninety days to get a decision on your initial disability claim. If your initial disability application is denied, you must appeal your denial by filing a request for reconsideration appeal. Your reconsideration appeal takes about sixty days to receive a decision.

Can you be approved for disability without having to go to a hearing?
If you want your disability claim to have a better chance of being approved at your initial disability claim or at your request for reconsideration appeal there are a few things you can do.

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
After seeing the sequential evaluation process, it may make more sense there would not be a lot of Social Security Disability approvals the first time someone files for disability. Reconsideration appeals have an even less likelihood of resulting in an approved disability claim.

How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
Most disability applicants will follow the second path to winning disability benefits, and that is to prove, again through solid medical documentation, that they qualify for a medical vocational, or Med-Voc allowance. Disability approval based on the Med-Voc allowance is a bit more involved than approval based on a blue book listing.

The Medical Vocational Allowance Approval for Social Security Disability and SSI cases
A medical vocational allowance is granted when Social Security has reviewed both the claimant’s medical records and their work history (for the 15 year period prior to becoming disabled) and come to the following conclusions:

What is the Social Security Disability List of Impairments?
The Social Security Disability list of impairments is an organized collection of medical impairments for which the social security administration has provided specific approval criteria.

Is There A Way To Get Automatically Approved For SSI And Social Security Disability?
In most cases, disability claims that involve a terminal illness are processed in thirty days or less.

Social Security Disability, SSI Decisions – What Is the Rate of Approval?
The rate of approval for Social Security Disability and SSI decisions varies from state to state as well as between the levels of the Social Security Disability process. The average national rate of approval for initial disability claims is 36 percent.

How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?
As a former disability examiner, I know that many people think a disability claim has to be denied a certain amount of times before being approved. This is a fallacy.

How do you find out if a Social Security Disability claim has been approved or even denied?
If your disability claim is denied or approved, Social Security will send you a notice of decision in the mail. Most often, if your disability claim has been denied, the state disability agency responsible for making the decision, will send you a denial letter.

How long will it take to receive Social Security Disability after you have been approved?
Generally, they are able to quickly adjudicate your disability claim and you will receive your Social Security Disability or SSI benefits the month you are entitled to receive disability benefits.

How many Social Security Disability cases are approved for back pain?
The social security administration has a poor history of addressing the issue of pain and sometimes fails to properly consider the limitations that occur as a result of significant back pain.

Can You Get Approved For Social Security Disability If You Do Not Take Medication Or Go To a Doctor?
It can be very difficult to get approved for Social Security Disability if you do not take medication or go to a doctor. However, it is not impossible.

Additional pages

Does Social Security Depend on Your Illness or the kind of Work that You Did?
There is no specific illness guaranteed to qualify you for disability, because examiners do not focus on the specific symptoms or limitations but rather on how these symptoms prevent the claimant from performing current or past work, or any other work.

How are Decisions on SSDI and SSI Disability Claims made by SSA?
Most decisions on SSDI (Social Security Disability insurance) and SSI (supplemental security income) disability claims are made on the basis of a medical vocational allowance. This is the “other type of award decision” that is made by the social security administration.

How will you be notified if you receive an Approval for Social Security Disability or SSI
Social Security will notify you (and your representative if you have one) by mail if your disability claim is an approval or denial.

Do Most People Have To Go To A Disability Hearing in order to Get Approved For Disability?
The approval rate for initial disability claims is approximately thirty five percent; The approval rate at the reconsideration appeal level is about 15 percent.

Disability Approval Chances at the Social Security Reconsideration and Hearing Levels
Typically, most people who file for Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI must appeal not once, but twice before they are approved.

The Social Security Disability Approval
The entire disability process, including the filing of appeals, may take more than eighteen months in some cases, or more than three years in others (generally if the claim involves a hearing before a judge), depending on the backlog of disability claims in your specific state.

Social Security Disability Approvals – Medical Conditions and Getting Approved
Make sure to tell your treating physician(s) exactly how your impairment limits your ability to perform daily activities and work responsibilities so that this information will be reflected in your doctor’s notes, which will help in getting your disability claim approved.

How Long Will It Take To Get Approved for Disability and what determines this?
To receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration as an adult, a person must not only be unable to do any of their past work (actually, former jobs performed within the last 15 years) but also must be unable to do any other kind of work in the general economy for which their skills, education, and training might otherwise qualify them.

What are the Odds or Chances of Being Approved for Disability?
the primary reasons behind the high denial rate for disability applications most likely has to do with the fact that the social security administration has a culture of denial that allows disability examiners (the individuals who decide claims at the first two levels of the system) to often ignore the opinion of a claimant’s treating physician, even when that physician has sent in a detailed and objective statement which supports their patient’s claim for disability.

How many cases are approved at the Disability Application level?
So, to answer the question, yes it is possible to get a relatively quick disability approval. However, this example probably leans a bit to the optimistic side since many individuals fail to actual file an appeal after they have been denied on an initial claim.

Will I be approved for disability on my appeal?
One fact, though, is very clear: the first appeal that a claimant who has been denied for disability can file has a low probability of success while the second appeal (the disability hearing) has dramatically higher chances of resulting in a Social Security Disability or SSI award.