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What makes a great SSDI disability case?

One of the most common questions on our disability forum is, “Do I have a good SSDI case?” What the claimants really wants to know is whether or not they will be considered disabled and if they will receive SSDI benefits immediately for their conditions. So let’s analyze some of the criteria of a great SSDI case and what it takes to be approved for disability the first time you apply.

What makes a great SSDI disability case?



  1. The claimant meets all the nonmedical criteria for SSDI or SSI. What does this mean? For an SSDI claimant this means they have paid Social Security taxes, and have earned enough “work credits” to qualify for SSDI. They also have a health condition that will last for at least 12 continuous months and they live in Unites States or a U.S. territory. There are also various residency requirements which must be met. Claimants who do not meet the requirements do not have a valid SSDI disability claim.

  2. The claimant has a condition and symptoms which meet or equal a listing on the SSA listing of impairments or the Compassionate Allowance List. Most claims which are approved immediately meet or exceed a listing on one of these two lists. This means that your condition is severe and you have enough medical evidence in your medical records to prove your diagnosis and related symptoms.

  3. The claimant is getting good medical care. Another common question is whether or not the claimant must be seeing a doctor. Great medical care and medical evidence is critical to a SSDI claim. The SSA is likely to claim that if you are not getting good medical care than you do not really know whether or not you can work (the assumption being that if you were getting great medical care your might be able to control your conditions and work). This can be especially true for some mental health disorders.

  4. The claimant is over the age of 55. There are complaints from younger claimants all the time that it is difficult to get SSDI if they are younger, and the simple truth is that it is easier for younger claimants to retrain for new work. Does this mean that a 45 year old man that is severely disabled cannot win SSDI benefits? No, but it means that they will have to have a condition that is so severe that it meets or exceeds a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments and will not generally get approved for SSDI benefits through the vocational allowance process.

  5. Understanding the SSDI process. If there is one simple step a claimant can take to improve their chances of winning SSDI it is to do their research and make sure they understand how the SSA makes their disability determination. It is baffling how few claimants review the criteria and really understand what they need to prove before completing the disability application and then they flounder in the system for months waiting to hear from the SSA. Make sure you understand the process BEFORE you apply.


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