How does Social Security decide Disability cases?
The process used to decide social security disability and ssi cases is a bit complex but you can boil it down this way---when you file for disability benefits, the social security administration will (via the disability examiner at disability determination services or the bureau of disability determination):
1. Request your medical records.
2. Determine, after receipt of your medical records, whether or not you are disabled according the criteria set aside for Certain specificied illnesses (in the social security administration's impairment listing manual, a.k.a. the blue book)
3. Determine, if you do not meet or equal the requirements of a listing, whether or not you are disabled according to the sequential evaluation process.
What is the sequential evaluation process? It is the process by which most claims are decided. Basically, a claimant must have an impairment that A. is considered to be severe, and B. either has prevented, or will prevent, them from working (one of their past jobs or any "other" form of work) for at least 12 months.
This is a very simplified and watered down explanation for the process, of course, but this is basically how it works. Obviously, in all cases, a claimant's medical records will be of the utmost importance. And for individuals who do not meet or equal a specified listing, the nature and requirements of their former jobs will be important as well.
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
How to get SSI
What is the decision making process on a Disability claim?
Getting a Disability Lawyer - Information for Disability Claims ?
Apply for SSI
Disability lawyer - when to get one
Social Security Disability SSI Massachusetts