Adjudicator

A person who reviews and makes decisions on Social Security disability claims.

Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)

A judge who conducts hearings and makes decisions on appeals for denied Social Security disability claims.

Appeals Council

The final level of administrative review within the Social Security Administration, which reviews decisions made by Administrative Law Judges.

Benefit Verification Letter

A letter from the Social Security Administration confirming the amount of benefits received, used as proof of income.

Claimant

The person applying for Social Security disability benefits.

Consultative Examination (CE)

A medical exam ordered by the Social Security Administration to gather more information about a claimant’s condition.

Credible Medical Source

Medical professionals whose opinions are considered reliable by the Social Security Administration in determining disability.

Date Last Insured (DLI)

The last date a person is eligible to receive SSDI benefits based on their work history.

Disability Determination Services (DDS)

State agencies that work with the Social Security Administration to make initial disability determinations.

Disability Onset Date

The date a claimant alleges their disability began, affecting their eligibility for benefits.

Duration of Disability

The required period a disability must last, or be expected to last, for a claimant to be eligible for benefits.

Fully Favorable Decision

A decision from an Administrative Law Judge that fully approves a claimant’s application for disability benefits.

Functional Limitations

Restrictions in a person’s ability to perform work-related activities due to their disability.

Hearing Office

The office where Social Security disability hearings are held before an Administrative Law Judge.

Impairment Listing

A list of medical conditions and criteria used by the Social Security Administration to determine disability.

Medical Evidence

Documentation of a claimant’s medical condition, including doctor’s reports, test results, and treatment records.

Medical-Vocational Guidelines

Rules used by the Social Security Administration to determine if a person can adjust to other work based on their age, education, work experience, and physical capacity.

Notice of Decision

A letter from the Social Security Administration informing a claimant of the decision made on their disability claim.

Overpayment

A situation where a person receives more Social Security benefits than they are eligible for.

Partially Favorable Decision

A decision from an Administrative Law Judge that approves a claimant’s application for disability benefits with some modifications, such as a later onset date.

Request for Reconsideration

The first level of appeal in the Social Security disability process, where a claimant asks for a review of their denied claim.

Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)

An assessment of a claimant’s remaining ability to perform work-related activities despite their disability.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

A federal insurance program that provides benefits to disabled individuals who have worked and paid into Social Security.

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

A level of work and earnings that disqualifies a person from receiving Social Security disability benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

A federal program that provides financial assistance to elderly, blind, or disabled individuals with low income and limited resources.

Treating Physician Rule

A principle that gives significant weight to the opinion of a claimant’s treating doctor in disability determinations.

Unfavorable Decision

A decision from the Social Security Administration denying a claimant’s application for disability benefits.

Vocational Expert (VE)

A professional who provides testimony at Social Security disability hearings regarding job availability for persons with disabilities.

Waiting Period

A mandatory waiting time between the date of disability onset and when a person can start receiving SSDI benefits.

Work Credits

Units earned through work and used to determine eligibility for SSDI benefits.

Social Security Disability is all we do.

Your case comes first. Unlike other law firms who dabble in Social Security Disability, we do not practice personal injury, worker’s compensation or any other area of law.

With Chihak + Chihak, you never have to worry about a big car accident lawsuit or workplace injury case taking our attention away from you and your disability claim.

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"With his help, we are on the up and up. I have him to thank for my continuing stability in my life."

Tim | Seattle

"They made the process manageable and offered guidance every step of the way."

Gabby | Seattle

"They worked with me for 5 years and never gave up - I was finally approved. "

Tina | Seattle