Am I Guaranteed of an SSI Denial and will Social Security call my past employers?
Here's a question that was recently sent in by someone.
"Just trying to found out how this works. Everything, everybody always says that you always get turned down when you first apply. I applied for SSI two months ago, no attorney involved. I assume they will investigate with my doctors. Will they call my past employers or have an investigator follow me around to see if I am faking or deserve to get SSI?"
I come across this almost on a weekly basis and have heard it many hundreds of times over several years: "It's pretty much guaranteed that you will be denied for disability the first time you apply".
Well, I recently found this sentiment expressed again and the individual, in addition to asking if they were guaranteed of getting a near automatic denial for SSI, wondered if the social security administration will
A) dispatch an investigator to "tail them" (to see if they are malingering and faking a claim) and
B) contact their past employers.
First things first. No, it's not guaranteed that if you file for disability you will automatically be denied that first time. Statistics on approvals and denials tend to vary by state (which, I think adds strength to the argument for bringing the entire system under direct federal control) and they tend to fluctuate over time.
However, generally speaking, about seventy percent of all initial claims (an initial claim is a disability application) are denied. And the flip side of that is that 30 percent are approved. Nearly 1 in 3.
Secondly...or thirdly, since I'm going out of order, will SSA hire or dispatch an investigator to follow you around? No, this doesn't happen. Why? Because the social security administration is not an insurance company (insurance companies do engage in this sort of behavior so be mindful if you have a long term disability or workmen's compensation claim).
Thirdly, will social security contact your past employers? Not as standard operational procedure; however, the disability examiner who works on your case at the disability application or reconsideration appeal level may decide to contact one or more of your past employers to clarify information, such as the nature and duties associated with your past employment.
Why is this done? Because how your past work is classified can impact whether or not you are denied on the basis of being able to return to your past work.
How your work is classified can also determine your skill levels and this can work to impact whether or not you may be denied on the basis of being able to perform other types of work.
The main point to take, of course, from item 3, is that it is very important to provide social security with an accurate and detailed description of your past employment and what it entailed.
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
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Epilepsy Social Security Disability SSI - Applying for Disability
Disability Benefits for Mental Illness (bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression)
Social Security Disability Eligibility - what gets considered Part 1
Social Security Disability Requirements and Eligibility Criteria
Tips for filing a disability appeal
File for Disability as soon as possible
Labels: ssi disability