Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

How the Social Security Disability and SSI system works


The Social Security Disability Resource Center is published by former disability claim examiner, Tim Moore. The goal of SSDRC.COM 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).

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:

  • For what medical conditions can you be approved for disability?

  • Disability Requirements and the definition of disability

  • What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?

  • Permanent Disability Benefits and Social Security

  • Tips for Filing for disability

  • When and how to file a disability application

  • How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?

  • How long does it take to be approved for disability?

  • What is the Social Security Disability List of Impairments?

  • How Long Does It Take To Get The Results Of A Disability Hearing?

  • What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits?

  • How does the Social Security Disability Review work?

  • How Long Does A Social Security Disability Appeal Take?

  • How much does Disability Pay?

  • How does back pay for Social Security disability work?

  • Do I need an attorney to win disability?

  • How to speed up the disability process

  • The Social Security Disability Approval Process and the Criteria for Decisions

  • Can you get temporary Social Security disability or SSI benefits?

  • Are You Allowed to Work While Receiving or applying for disability?

  • What should you say if you go to a Social Security Exam?

  • How do you find out if a disability claim has been approved or denied?

  • How to qualify for disability benefits

  • Social Security Disability SSI Award notice letter

  • SSI Benefits - who is Eligible and How do I apply

  • Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI decisions

    The SSD SSI Decision Process

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Medical conditions you can apply for when filing for disability

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    Questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Resources on this site and elsewhere

    Disability definitions, terms, and concepts

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    Applying for Disability according to state of residence

    Social Security Administration - Benefits For People With Disabilities

    Section 16 - SSD and SSI questions and answers

    About the Author

    For the sake of clarity, is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. is published by Tim Moore, a former DDS Claims Examiner for Social Security Disability 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.