Nolo’s Guide to Social Security Disability – Review (March 2022, 11th Edition) is the perfect resource for anyone who needs to apply for social security disability benefits.

Nolo's Guide To Social Security Disability

Social Security disability benefits are provided through a U.S. government system run by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

This comprehensive book walks you through the process of applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, from gathering medical evidence to appealing a denied claim.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reports that nearly 11 million people receive Social Security disability benefits, and this number is growing by the millions each year.

Filing for Social Security disability benefits, whether for long-term or permanent disability, can be daunting and may seem overwhelming. Unfortunately, most applicants are not automatically approved for SSDI or SSI eligibility; therefore, it is crucial to understand the ins and outs of the system to give yourself the best chance at success.

Packed with samples of helpful forms and clear instructions, this book will help you navigate the complex application process.

Learn How To:

  • Appeal If You’re Denied Benefits
  • Find The Disability Criteria For Your Medical Issue
  • Prepare For A Continuation of Your Disability Review
  • Prove The Severity Of A Disability
  • While Still Receiving Your Benefits, Work Part-Time

New to this edition:

  • Getting disability for Post-Acute COVID Syndrome (PACS)
  • Back pain, musculoskeletal disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, Raynaud’s phenomena, polymyositis, and dermatomyositis are all listed in the revised Social Security medical listings.
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So what is included in Nolo’s Guide to Social Security Disability Book? The Table of Contents will give you a clearer idea.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Social Security Disability Companion

-Medical and Legal Questions
-Medical Listings
-Quick Disability Determination (QDD)
Chapter 1 – What is Social Security Disability?

-Two Different Programs
-Defining Disabled
-Contacting the Social Security Administration
-FAQs About Social Security Disability

Chapter 2 – Applying For Disability Benefits

-Preparing to Apply
-Applying for Disability Benefits
-The Role of Health Care Professionals
-How Other Disability Payments May Affect Social Security Benefits
-Availability and Disclosure of Confidential Records
-Fraud and Other Crimes

Chapter 3 – Disability Benefits for Children

-Three Benefit Programs for Children
-Applying for SSDI or SSI Benefits
-Disability Evaluation
-Continuing Disability Reviews for SSI Children
-Other Health Care Concerns

Chapter 4 – Getting Benefits During the Application Process (SSI)

– Applying for Presumptive Disability
– Impairments Qualifying for Presumptive Disability by Field Office
– Qualifying for Presumptive Disability Through the DDS

Chapter 5 – Proving You Are Disabled

– Acceptable Medical Sources
– Medical Evidence From Treating Sources
– The Role of Consultative Examinations in Disability Determination
– Evidence of Symptoms
-Other Evidence
– Expedited Determinations

Chapter 6 – Who Decides Your Claim?

– DDS Basics
– DDS Claims Examiners
– DDS Organization
– Medical Consultants
– If Your Claim Is Granted
– If Your Claim Is Denied
– DDS Corruption and Incompetence
– Quick Disability Determination Unit (QDD)

Chapter 7 – How Claims Are Decided

– Step 1. Are You Engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity?
– Step 2. How Severe Are Your Impairments?
– Step 3. Do You Meet the Listing of Impairments?
– Step 4. Can You Do Your Prior Job?
– Step 5. Can You Do Any Other Job?
Chapter 8 – Whether You Can Do Some Work: Your RFC

– RFC Analysis for Physical Impairments and Abilities
– Mental Impairments and Abilities
– Claims With Both Physical and Mental RFCs

Chapter 9 – How Age, Education, and Work Experience Matter

– Age
– Education
– Work Experience
– Use of Vocational Analysts
– Vocational Rehabilitation

Chapter 10 – When Benefits Begin

– Medical Evidence
– Work Experience
– SSDI or SSI Claimant

Chapter 11 – Reasons You May Be Denied Benefits

– You Earn Too Much Income or Have – – Too Many Assets
– Your Disability Won’t Last Long Enough
– The SSA Cannot Find You
– You Refuse to Cooperate
– You Fail to Follow Prescribed Therapy
– Drug Addiction or Alcoholism Contributes to Your Disability
– You Have Been Convicted of a Crime
– You Commit Fraud

Chapter 12 – Appealing If Your Claim Is Denied

– Deciding Whether to Appeal
– Review the Rationale and Your File From the SSA
– Appeal Basics
– Your Right to Representation
– Five Levels of Appeal
– Reopening of Decisions
– Refiling an Initial Claim

Chapter 13 – Once You Are Approved

– Disability Benefit Payments
– Reporting Changes—SSDI Recipients
– Reporting Changes—SSI Recipients
– Returning to Work
– Passage of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act
– Participation in the Ticket to Work Program
– The Ticket to Hire Program

Chapter 14 – Continuing Disability Review

– Frequency of Reviews
– How the SSA Contacts You
– Medical Improvement Review Standard
– Children and CDRs
– Appealing a CDR Decision

Chapter 15 – Your Right to Representation

– When Do You Need an Authorized Representative?
– What Can an Authorized Representative Do?
– Who Can Be an Authorized Representative?
– Should Your Authorized Representative Be an Attorney?
– How to Find a Disability Attorney
– Notifying the SSA of Your Choice for Representative
– When and How Your Representative Is Paid
– Keeping Up on the Law Yourself

Video: What To Do If Your Social Security Disability Claim Has Been Denied

YouTube player

After purchasing the book, you will have access to Nolo’s Website for this book. There you are able to:

  • Download Medical Listings
  • Stay current with updates to the book
  • Have access to thousands of articles on everyday business and legal issues.
  • Plain English law dictionary
  • More books, software, online services, and downloadable forms

Be aware there are two options for purchase. One is an ebook, and the other is purchasing a physical book, and while you wait for it to arrive, you will have access to the ebook.

About Nolo

Since 1971, Nolo has offered do-it-yourself legal guides. Nolo has grown alongside technology in the 40 years since its inception, developing do-it-yourself software and turning into one of the Internet’s most popular legal resources.

About the Author – David A. Morton

David A. Morton is the author of this piece. Morton earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and his master’s degree in medicine. He worked for the Social Security Administration as a disability determination consultant for 14 years, and for eight years, he served as Chief Medical Consultant.

Dr. Morton, as the Chief Medical Consultant, evaluated and made thousands of disability determinations for both adults and children. In his position, he hired, trained, supervised, and evaluated the work of medical doctors and clinical psychologists.

Dr. Morton is the author of Nolo’s Guide to Social Security Disability, along with several other books which he wrote for attorneys and judges.


If you have ever tried to navigate any government agency, you know how daunting it can be.

Nolo’s Guide to Social Security Disability is a book that provides you with guidance on everything from preparing your claim package to dealing with negotiations and appeals.

It’s always better to be prepared, and knowing what to expect will give you more confidence.

Some people have reported the book is hard to read, but many people claim it is presented in an easy-to-understand format and not legalese.

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This comprehensive book walks you through the process of applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, from gathering medical evidence to appealing a denied claim.

If you need help navigating this complex system or just want guidance about what’s available under the Social Security Disability law, then Nolo’s Guide to Social Security Disability is an an essential book.

I hope in reading Nolo’s Guide to Social Security Disability – Review, you came away with a better understanding of what the book entails and if you would derive benefit from its purchase.

Do you have experience with Social Security Disability? Please comment below.

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