10 Signs That Your Social Security Disability Claim Will be Approved
If you have recently filed a claim for disability with the social security administration, you might be wondering what your approval odds are.
While according to the SSA’s own statistics, 70% of disability claims were denied in 2022, or in other words, 30% of the claims are typically approved.
In our modest opinion, this rate isn’t where it should be. An approval rate of 3 out of 10 people who claim they need help due to their disability, is simply not good enough in a great country like ours.
That is one of the reason we have started this website, and we encourage you to seek other financial help as well as applying for disability.
We have written about many grants you may qualify for, such as this $20,000 disability grant, grants that help you pay rent, cash assistance programs, and so on. Browse our website for more information.
That being said, what makes the difference between getting approved for that much-needed help, vs getting denied? that is exactly what our team have researched.
While we can’t predict your approval odds with 100% accuracy, we did notice some patterns, or signs if you will, that your application for a disability claim will be approved.
First, let’s look a quick look at the requirements that the SBA have set for disability claims.
Who is Eligible for Disability Benefits?
According to the SSA, in order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, you must meet the following terms:
1. You have worked in a job (or jobs) that are covered by Social Security
While most jobs in the US are covered by Social Security, there are some exceptions.
For instance, self-employed workers with net earnings below $400 for the year, and household employees with earnings below $2400, are excluded from the program.
To read the complete list of jobs that are excluded from SS, click here.
2. You suffer from a medical condition that meets Social Security’s own Definition of Disability
The social security administration have a very strict definition of who is, in their eyes, disabled and unable to work.
While we don’t necessarily agree with their definition, you won’t have much choice to adhere by it.
According to their list of impairments, you need to suffer from one of the following conditions in order to be defined ‘disabled’.
Three common examples of these impairments are:
You can find the complete list of impairments here.
Take a look and see if you qualify, according to their terms.
Once you qualify to these 2 strict requirements, your odds of getting your social security disability claim approved, jump significantly.
After the initial application process, we did find some signs that your application will be approved.
10 Signs That Your Disability Claim May Be Approved
1.You have worked in a job that is covered by Social Security Insurance
As explained above, most jobs in us are covered by SSI. However, there are some exceptions.
Make sure that your job is covered before applying, to increase your approval odds.
2.Your medical condition fits the SSA’s definition of ‘disability’
With over 300,000 applications each year, the SSA’s definition of disability is pretty strict.
If your medical condition is preventing you from working, you will, in general be approved for SSI.
However, we recommend that you read the list of impairments and make sure your medical condition is listed, prior to filling a disability claim.
3. You have presented all of the medical evidence and documents required
Most disability claims are denied due to insufficient evidence. As an applicant, make sure you submit enough medical evidence that proves your claim and medical condition.
According to the SSA, it is the claimant’s sole responsibility to provide all of the evidence that he or she qualifies for disability.
The following records are examples of medical evidence that you should submit:
- Medical Diagnostic Reports
- Relevant Medical Scans (like x-ray, or CT)
- Any drug prescriptions
- Treatments records
- Doctors analysis
Note: while the responsibility to provide medical evidence is strictly yours, as an applicant, the SSA does mention they might perform their own due diligence to make sure your claims are true and accurate.
4. Your medical situation prevents you from working for a period of at least a year
One of the most important conditions you must meet is being unable to work for a period of at least 12 month (a year).
If your condition will not prevent you from working for at least 1 year, the SSA will deny your application in most cases.
That being said, there are short-term disability options if you don’t qualify for SSA, so don’t lose hope.
Depending on the state you are in, we have listed some options on our home page.
5. You have earned enough work credits
According to the SSA, you must have enough work credits in order to be considered for social security disability benefits.
You earn credits by working and paying social security taxes. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year.
The amount of work credits you will need, vary by age.
Before the age of 24 –
You will only need 6 work credits, in the 3 year period before your disability have started.
Between Ages of 24- 31 –
As a rule of thumb, you will qualify if you have worked at least half the time between the age of 21 and the time your disability have began.
Ages of 31 and older –
You will need to prove a longer work period and will need at least 20 work credits in the 10-year period right before the start of your disability.
The complete work credit guide and list by the SSA can be found here.
6. Your pay is lower than the Substantial Gainful Activity
In order to qualify for social security disability benefits, one must be completely unable to participate in a substantial gainful activity (abbreviation: SGA).
The word ‘substantial’ is crucial here, the you might be able to make money and still qualify for disability , according to the SSA.
SGA Amounts for 2023
According to the SSA’s guidelines, in 2023 the SGA amount is $1470 for non-blind individuals, and $2460 for completely blind individuals.
7. You have not been denied for disability in the past
If you have been denied for disability, you can try to file an appeal. In this case, we recommend having a disability attorney involved or at least look at your file.
However, in some cases, filing is appeal is pointless.
If you don’t qualify for basic requirements for instance, or don’t have work credits, your odds are pretty slim.
In that case, try to apply for other grants and programs we have listed on our website.
8. You are 18 years of age, or older
You must be 18 years old to file an application for social security disability benefits. However, if you are 18, you might not have enough work credits in order to even qualify.
Make sure you verify that you do, prior to applying to save you the time and money.
9. You are not currently receiving benefits on your own social security records
If you are receiving benefits currently, the SSA say you will probably not qualify for SSD benefits as well.
10. You will be automatically approved if you suffer from a ‘severe’ illness (such as cancer, Parkinson’s and so on)
Severe medical conditions do get priority in terms of disability claim approval by the SSA.
Such include Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and other terminal illnesses.
These are the top 10 signs that your social security disability claim will be approved, but remember, there are no guarantees and each case is different.
We frequently get questions about disability claims, and while we are not related to the SSA in any way nor are we disability attornies, we do have experience in the field and would love to answer some of them.
Frequently Asked Disability Claims-Related Questions
Q: My social security claim was denied, what next?
A: If you think the claim was wrongfully denied, consider filing an appeal. you can appeal yourself or hire an attorney, thats your decision.
Q: What is the Maximum Social Security Disability Payment I Might Receive?
A: In 2023, the maximum Social security disability monthly payment is $3,627.
Q: What does it mean when your disability is processing?
A: Contrary to popular belief, having your disability claim status as ‘processing’ doesn’t mean you will be approved or denied. It simply means, the SSA is processing the information you have sent and haven’t made a decision in your case yet.
Q: How will I know when I get approved for social security disability benefits?
A: You will receive and approval letter, by mail.
Q: Is it better to retire or go on disability?
A: In most cases, it is more beneficial to receive disability benefits until you reach the age of retirement.
The reason is, if you do collect early retirement, your benefits will be reduced, permanently.
Q: What disqualifies a person from disability?
A: If you don’t meet the SSA’s criteria you will be disqualified from getting disability benefits, these include being unable to work or having enough work credits in the period right before your disability happened. You must be 18 or older to qualify and have your work covered by SSI, as well.
Q:What are the cons of being on disability?
A: There are no cons or downsides for being on disability. If you are disabled, unable to work, and need the financial help, you should apply for social security disability benefits. During your working years, you pay social security taxes in order for financial assistance to be available for you, in times of need.
The Bottom Line
While the 10 signs we mentioned in the post highly increase the odds of your disability claim approval, there are no guarantees. Each case is different and you should wait for the SSA’s response in your case.
Remember, even an initial denial doesn’t mean you will not receive SSA disability benefits.
In case your application was denied, and you feel like you have a case, consider hiring a disability attorney, and file an appeal.
If you have found other signs that are relevant to this post and believe we should add them to the list, please contact us and we would love to update the article.
Last, please share this article via social media if you found it helpful, so we can help as many people as we can.
Legal Disclaimer: we at freegrantsfordisabled.org can’t predict the approval or denial of your application and are not related in any way to the SSA.
The information written above is our opinion based on our experience and is in no way legal or financial advice.