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Disability under Social Security Program

Posted on:12/21/2011
A disabled worker can apply for disability benefits under the social security program. The application process demonstrates just how far an applicant may pursue a disability claim. Such a claim could be for either Social Security Disability Insurance or for Supplemental Security Income.

Although the programs are quite different, the test for disability and the definition of disability are essentially the same for each. A person may call the Social Security Administration and arrange for an appointment at a local office. The local officer will assist the applicant with the request for disability benefits and check to see if the applicant has worked recently enough in covered employment to qualify for disability coverage. If not, an applicant may pursue a claim for Supplemental Security Income.


The Supplemental Security Income program has the additional burden of a means test that requires an applicant to prove his or her poverty but dispenses with the notion of "covered quarters." Then the officer will send the completed application to the state disability determination office. Officials in this office will review the medical and vocational evidence in the file to see if the severity of the applicant’s impairment is such that he cannot do his previous work and cannot engage in any gainful work in the national economy.


If disability determination office rejects the claim, you can request reconsideration. If your claim is still denied, you can file an application before an administrative law judge. If the judge rejects your claim, an appeal can be filed with the Appeals Council of the Social Security Administration. Appeals from the decision of the Appeal Council must be filed in the federal district court.

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