How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
Social Security Back Pay
How do you win disability benefits?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of benefits
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much is paid for the Social Security Disability Attorney Fee?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability?
The Social Security Disability Award Letter
The Social Security Disability List of Impairments
Disability benefits and Children
Social Security Disability, SSI, and Medical Conditions
Degenerative Disc Disease
MS, Multiple Sclerosis
Social Security Disability Resource Center
The goal of SSDRC.COM, the Social Security Disability Resource Center, is to inform readers about how the Social Security Disability and SSI Disability process works from start to finish. This includes what to expect before, during, and after a disability application has been processed, common mistakes that need to be avoided, and what to do and how to react in specific situations (for example, receiving notices of denial, obtaining the status of the claim at different points, providing needed evidence, and undergoing a disability interview with a Social Security Claims Representative).
My name is Tim Moore and SSDRC is based on my own experiences during three decades working as a Disability Claims Examiner and in the area of claimant representation. In the past, I have been been approached to provide commentary on Social Security Disability by The Wall Street Journal, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Union-Tribune, and the New York Times (The Disability Mess).
The most basic question about disability benefits is...
In explaining how the system works, SSDRC devotes attention to both medical and non-medical eligibility criteria, the Social Security Administration's definition of disability, and the process that is used to make decisions on initial claims, reconsideration appeals, and hearings that are held by federal administrative law judges. However, the core question most applicants will have is:
How do I prove I am disabled and win disability benefits?
For individuals who have already submitted an application for disability for SSD or SSI benefits, or are merely contemplating filing for disability, learning about how the disability system works can improve the chances of winning benefits. In certain cases, it may help an individual avoid mistakes that cost valuable processing time on a case, and affect eligibility for continuing monthly benefits, back pay benefits and medicare coverage.
SSDRC covers a lot of ground on a wide range of issues, however initial topics that may be useful include the following:
More things to keep in mind about the disability process
There is a lengthy process involved at each step of the disability determination process. In addition, there is the fact that most claims will be denied at the application level, and, for the most part, will be denied again at the first appeal level. This makes the process even longer, often imposing severe financial hardship on claimants.
1. Statistics vary nationwide, but, in general, most claimants can expect a thirty percent chance of being approved for disability at the application level. This means most claimants will need to file at least one appeal.
2. However, one appeal is usually not enough. The first appeal, the Request for Reconsideration, typically has a higher rate of denial than the disability application itself. This is not difficult to understand considering that the same state disability agency (DDS a.k.a. disability determination services) will make the decision on the reconsideration, the only difference being the fact that a different disability examiner will handle the case at that level.
3. The majority of claimants who get denied on their disability application will eventually need to appear at a hearing before an administrative law judge in order to be approved. Judges at hearings can be tough on cases. But there is no disputing the fact that hearings present a fairer opportunity for claimants to get approved for disability.
Up to 60 percent of individuals who had previously been denied twice at the lower levels are approved at their disability hearing by an ALJ, or administrative law judge. This, of course, usually requires that the case has been handled in such a way that it becomes clear that the requirements for disability have been met and that the claimant does qualify for disability on the basis of the medical and vocational evidence.
The point, of course, is that disability claims are certainly worth pursuing even when a claimant has been denied not once, but even twice. The majority of claimants who continue to pursue their claim through the process of filing appeals will eventually be approved; therefore, the worst mistake a claimant can make is to give up on their case.
More Disability Questions and Answers
Filing for Disability
Filing an Application for Disability Benefits under SSD or SSI
What Forms will I need to Complete when I apply for disability?
What medical conditions can you apply for disability for?
Back Pay and Benefits
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it
Can you get temporary Social Security disability or SSI benefits?
Tips and Advice
Should you get a Statement from a Personal Physician for your SSD or SSI Disability Case?
How do I check the status of my Social Security disability claim ?
Tips for Getting Disability Approved
About the Author
SSDRC.com is published by Tim Moore, a former DDS Claims Examiner in North Carolina. DDS, or Disability Determination Services, is the state-level agency that make decisions on both Social Security Disability and SSI claims for the Social Security Administration. To learn more about the author: Tim Moore.
Ask a question, get an answer
Information on SSDRC is provided through the following sections of the site:
A) Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers
B). Social Security Disability Blog
C). Applying for disability according to state of residence
D). Disability Lawyers by state
E). Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
Initial claim (disability application) denial rates
Alabama - 70.5%, Alaska - 61.3%, Arizona - 75.2%, Arkansas - 69.7%, California - 49.1%, Colorado - 68.2%, Connecticut - 70.7%, Delaware - 66.9%, Florida - 73.2%, Georgia - 73.1%, Hawaii - 65%, Idaho - 65.3%, Illinois - 71.1%, Indiana - 70.1%, Iowa - 67.7%, Kansas - 67.3%, Kentucky - 76.8%, Louisiana - 67.4%, Maine - 70.8%, Maryland - 71%, Massachusetts - 61.4%, Michigan - 70.4%, Minnesota - 65.7%, Mississippi - 76.2%, Missouri - 79%, Montana - 64.6%, Nebraska - 63.6%, Nevada - 68.5%, New Hampshire - 53.4%, New Jersey - 56.5%, New Mexico - 69.9%, New York - 62.3%, North Carolina - 75.5%, North Dakota - 84.5%, Ohio - 72.4%, Oklahoma - 75%, Oregon - 67%, Pennsylvania - 69.1%, Rhode Island - 67.4%, South Carolina - 73.1%, South Dakota - 60.1%, Tennessee - 75.7%, Texas - 67%, Utah - 62.9%, Vermont - 59.4%, Virginia - 66.1%, Washington - 64.5%, West Virginia - 74.9%, Wisconsin - 66.1%, Wyoming - 50.5%