Kay Tracy, Make Disability Pay, disability law office of kay tracy, esq, fairfield, ca


PURPOSE of Social Security Disability
If you can't make it until full retirement because your body/mind won't allow you to keep the pace that employer's require, you should receive benefits as if you reached full retirement age.

How  Social Security Disability  Works.
How to use this website.

If you’re here, you want answers. The first thing you need to know is you are entering Social Security Island. Words do not have

the same meaning/definition as they do in Normal People Land. To understand it, you can click on the words in - RED - in the following introduction or go to the FAQ section. (Hint, if it’s in red below, it’s particularly important.  To find out more about me, click here.



The Medical Rules are the Same for Each Program

(1.) Past Work— based on FICA (SSDI)
    » Quarters of Credit

(2.) Supplemental Income—SSI
     » Resources

(3.) Disabled Adult Children
    » Prior to the Age of 22
» Parents FICA Earnings

(4.) Disabled Widows
   » Ages 50—60
» Within 7 Years of Death


(1.) Initial  File Online
     Response - about 6 months...
If denied:
Appeal ("Reconsideration")
Response - an additional 4-6 months...
If denied:
(3.) Appeal to a Judge ("Request Hearing")
     Hearing Date - 18 months
     Decision after hearing:  30-90 days
If denied-we'll talk (Other Appeals)

Social Security gears

1. SIGN UP:   It’s a pain right out of the gate. Before you can file, you need to create a “My Social Security” Account. You can do that online—www.ssa.gov. But it’s easier to call (800) 772-1213.  The hold-time is shorter between 5pm and 7 pm PST.  Unless you plan to do this yourself, DO NOT tell them you want to file for disability.  Just get a user name and password.

2. FILE AN APPLICATION— Online, In person, Over the Phone (You can do this yourself. But why?)  In 3 weeks or so, you will get a packet in the mail from the “Department of Disability Determination Services” (DDS).  There are 2-4 questionnaires. Their enclosure letter says: YOU MUST RETURN THIS WITHIN 10 DAYS or the world will come to an end.  Not True.  Call the number on the letter and request more time.  They will probably send you to a doctor/psychologist with whom DDS has a contract, called a “Consultative Examiner" (CE: A doctor who sees you in person).  The CE will write a report for DDS.  Even if the CE says “You should be approved,” you might not be.  DDS can reject an opinion it doesn’t like.

Should complete a “Treating Source Assessment.”
Your doctor needs to talk about medical facts. If all your doctor says is, “S/he can’t work,” it is not enough. Social Security decides whether you can work. Not your doctor and not the CE.
You need a Treating Source Assessment to compare with the CE opinion. Usually, your treating doctor knows way more about you. But DDS or a Judge can always choose to reject it.
If that happens, you appeal.

(1.) Is the claimant Working?  Kind of a duh— but, what normal people think of when they hear “work” is not at all how Social Security defines “Work.”
(2.) Does the claimant have a "Medically Determinable Impairment (MDI)
(3.) Does the MDI prevent the claimant from doing Any Job they had in the past 15 years?
(4.) Is there Other Work the claimant could do given the claimant’s age?