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When you file your claim, make sure you tell them about ALL medical conditions, physical and emotional. Social Security does not evaluate a person's disability based on just one condition. They are required to consider all you medical conditions to see if the combination of conditions prevents you from working. So, conditions you have had for a while that may not have been a big deal before, by themselves, suddenly become more important when added to other conditions. You will need to be very open. Many people do not tell SSA about all their problems, especially problems with depression, or anxiety, or memory or concentration, because people do not like to talk about those things. You have to get past that and tell your doctors about those problems, and then tell SSA too. If you do not tell SSA about it, I am sure they will not ask about it.

The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Maybe. In addition to meeting the other rules for SSD (work credits, etc.) or SSI (lack of income and resources) you also have to be found disabled.

Social Security reviews cases using the five-step sequential evaluation process to decide is a person is disabled. Here are the 5 questions that make up the sequential evaluation process:

(1) Does your impairment keep you from being able to perform a substantial gainful activity (SGA), generally full-time, competitive, work?
(2) Is your impairment severe? AND, is your impairment expected to remain severe for at least 12 months?
(3) Does your impairment “meet or equal” one of Social Security’s “Listing of Impairments?” A listing of medical conditions, acceptable medical evidence, and the severity necessary for an impairment to be considered disabling. There are separate listings for adults and for children.
(4) Does your impairment prevents you from being able to perform any job you performed over the last 15 years which was also a substantial gainful activity?
(5) Does your impairment prevent you from being able to perform any other type of work which exists in substantial numbers of the national economy?

In my opinion you should get an attorney as early in the process as possible as the fees are set by Social Security law and would be the same regardless if you hire the attorney the week before your hearing or the day you applied originally.

Contact NOSSCR to find a Social Security attorney in your area, look for one offering a free no-obligation initial consultation (most do) then meet with one or more and sign up with one you are comfortable with.

NOSSCR Lawyer Referral Service - For help in finding attorney representation, contact its lawyer referral service during Eastern business hours:


Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.


My colleagues have given you good answers. In making disability decisions, SSA looks at a person's entire condition. One thing SSA considers is whether the impairment can be alleviated by medical treatment, e.g., for sleep apnea, whether using a C-pap or Bi-pap machine (or another device) allows the person to sleep more normally. Generally, a person is expected to follow his/her doctor's advice and recommendations for treatment.

SSA looks at what work-related limitations result from a person's impairments after treatment.

This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship. This communication offers general information based on the limited facts set out in the question, and does not constitute the giving of legal advice. For specific legal advice, consult an attorney in your state who is knowledgeable in this area of law.

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