How Social Security Decides Whether You Are Disabled

By / The Claims Process / 291 Comments

Learn how Social Security determines whether you are eligible for disability benefits and see when your age and work history may and may not make a difference in the evaluation of your claim. Learn how mental illness, fibromyalgia, and low vision claims are decided.

Important Information for You to Submit for Your Claim

You are more likely to be successful with your Social Security claim if you know how the Social Security Administration evaluates for disability. With that knowledge, you will recognize the information you need to provide to support your claim.

If you have a very severe illness or injury listed in the Social Security’s Listings and you submit records to document your diagnosis and the severity of your condition, you may be approved at Step Four of the disability evaluation process. If you don’t meet the Listings, you have another opportunity to be approved for benefits. At that point, Step Five in the evaluation, information about your work history and education become very important.

Increase your chances of filing a successful claim. Click below to get a better understanding of what Social Security looks for when deciding whether or not you are disabled according to Social Security law.

  • Getting Social Security Disability Based on Mental Illness
    See how getting disability for a mental illness is the same process as getting approved based on a physical condition. Learn about the information that is needed from your mental health providers and how statements from non-medical individuals can strengthen your claim. Connect with helpful forms that can be used to capture the information.
  • Disability Benefits for Alcohol and Drug Addicts
    Disability caused by drug or alcohol addiction will not be approved for payment of disability benefits. Even so, sometimes people who are drug or alcohol dependent get Social Security or SSI disability benefits. Find out how.
  • Chances of Quick Approval for Heart Patients
    See how some cardiac patients get approved on initial applications, how some have to appeal to get approved, and how some are not disabled according to Social Security’s definition of disability.
  • Why Many Initial Claims Are Denied
    Upgrade your chances for approval on an initial claim by knowing the types of documentation you need to submit and the kinds of errors to avoid. If you have been asked to attend a consultative examination, see what is likely to be in the consulting physician’s report.
  • Getting Social Security or SSI Disability for Low Vision
    Learn the difference between low vision and statutory blindness. Find out how much work is allowed for a person with low vision to still be considered disabled as compared to someone who is blind or statutorily blind and working.

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