THE FACTS: Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits

You are too disabled to work, but your Social Security Disability claim has been denied?

You are not alone. The Social Security Administration at the initial claim level (the application), SSD and SSI claimants in Texas have been denied at the rate of 61.5% percent for Social Security Disability benefits.

  • SSI and Social Security Disability are two different benefits.
  • Never wait to file for SSI. File immediately.
  • Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a 3-in-10 chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age.

Social Security Claims

Medically Determinable Condition – you must prove to Social Security that you have a diagnosed problem and that your medical diagnosis falls within the scope of accepted medicine. Social Security gives little weight to “alternative” medicine and its diagnoses. For example, Social Security does not give much weight to diagnoses of chiropractors or holistic medicine practitioners.

Substantial Gainful Activity – your medical condition must prevent you from performing work or work-like activity. Social Security sees work as non-leisure activity that you perform approximately 8 hours a day, five days a week. However, volunteer activities may also be substantial activity as can your enrollment in school.

One Year Impairment or Terminal Condition – AIDS or some Forms of cancer will be approved because your condition is expected to result in death

Your medical evidence must addresses the limitations in your work capacity.

Statements or testimony from former co-workers, friends, relatives and others who have personal knowledge about how your medical condition limits your capacity for substantial activity is acceptable.

Information Needed About You:

• Your Social Security number and proof of your age;

• Names, addresses and phone numbers of doctors, caseworkers, hospitals, and clinics that took care of you and the dates of your visits;

• Names and dosages of all the medications you are taking;

• Medical records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics and caseworkers, that you already have in your possession;

• Laboratory and test results;

• A summary of where you worked and the kind of work you did; and

• Your most recent W-2 form or, if you were self-employed, a copy of your federal tax return.

Information About Family Members:

• Social Security numbers and proof of age for each person applying for benefits; and

• Proof of marriage, if your spouse is applying for benefits, as well as dates of prior marriages if applicable.

IMPORTANT: The documents you need to show us must be original documents or copies certified by the issuing office. You can mail or bring them to Social Security. We will make photocopies and return your original documents.

If you don’t have all the documents you need, don’t delay filing for benefits. We will help you get the information you need.Lee Ann Torrans