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Signs you will win SSDI and SSI benefits can be hard to find. But, this article can help you if you want to predict your results in the Social Security appeal process.

If you are filing an application for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI), then you already know how frustrating the process can be. After you apply for benefits, you will usually wait four to six months to get an initial decision.

If your application is denied, then you must appeal the SSA’s decision. Likewise, if you are denied again, then you must request a hearing. Waiting for a hearing date can take up to a year. How long you have to wait depends on where you live in the country.

During the two years that it takes to get a hearing, you will be wondering what the SSA will decide. Are there any clues that can give you an answer? The answer is yes.

If you are looking for clues that you will win your SSDI and SSI benefits, then read below about the top 10 signs that show you will win your SSD benefits. These signs will give you a good idea as to whether or not you will win your case.

Below are the 10 promising signs that you will win SSDI and SSI benefits.

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SSDI benefits are only available to those who have earned enough work credits. You earn work credits by paying Social Security taxes. If you earn enough work credits, then you qualify to apply for benefits. In 2024, workers gained one work credit for every $1,730 that came from company wages or self employment. Learn more about the SSA’s definition of work. You can also qualify for concurrent benefits.

Your work credits determine if you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). To have enough work credits you must have worked 5 years out of the last 10 years. The number of work credits you need for SSDI benefits is dependent on your age and the onset date of your disability.

Normally, you will need 40 work credits and 20 of them must be earned in the last 10 years. However, a young worker can qualify for SSDI benefits without having so many work credits. For example:

  • If you are less than 24 years old, then you will need 6 credits in the 3 year period which ends when your disability began.
  • Between the ages of 24 and 31, you will need work credits which are equal to half the time you worked between age 21 and the date your disability began. For example, if you were 30 when your disability began, then you will need 4 years of work history and 16 credits.
  • If you are between 31 to 42 years old, then you will require a a minimum of 20 work credits.
  • When you are older than 42, the number of work credits you will need is based on a sliding scale and adds two credits every two years to the 20 work credit requirement. For example, a person who is 50 years old will require 28 credits to qualify for benefits.


If you cannot work for at least one year because of your medical conditions, then you may have a chance of winning SSDI and SSI benefits. Unfortunately, if your medical condition is going to last less than 12 months, then you will not qualify for benefits.

For example, if you break your arm and your leg in a car accident, then you may need to take few months off work. But it is likely that both limbs will heal within a 12 week period of time. Even if it takes your leg longer to heal, it will still heal prior to one year. Therefore, you can return to work when you’re healthy again and it will be long before twelve months.

SSA benefits pay for medical conditions that prevent you from working for the rest of your life. Unless you have private insurance or state benefits, there isn’t a benefit program that will pay you on a monthly basis for short term medical conditions.

If you see a treating doctor on a regular basis and they are an expert, then that is a good sign you will win benefits. Receiving regular treatment from a doctor provides the medical evidence you need to win benefits. It is also a sign that your condition is chronic, not temporary. Even if you believe there is nothing a doctor can do for you, without regular visits to the doctor you will not win SSD benefits.

You have a better chance of winning SSDI and SSI benefits if you have a condition that is not going to improve. For example, if you have Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or Liver Cancer, then the SSA should pay you benefits. These are examples of chronic medical conditions that are not likely to improve.


You must have medical evidence that supports your application for SSDI and SSI benefits. Learn more here about the importance of medical evidence in your SSDI case. The Social Security Administration will use your medical records to assess whether your medical conditions prevent you from working.

The SSA usually denies claims because those who apply fail to submit medical evidence. The SSA uses their “blue book,” also called the “listing” to determine if your medical condition is severe. They will look to see if your medical condition meets or equals their listing. If your condition does not meet or equal the listing rules, then you   can still qualify for benefits by proving your residual functional capacity (RFC) prevent you from working.

In order to win benefits, you need medical evidence from your treating doctor that supports your SSDI claim. Additionally, the following medical records will support your case:

  • Progress notes from your doctor
  • Diagnostic reports
  • X-rays, CT scans, and MRI’s
  • Medical reports from experts on your conditions
  • Hospital stay records
  • Outpatient records of mental health treatment

In order to get these records, you need to go to the doctor. Are you going to your doctor on a regular basis? Once or twice a year won’t cut it. Visit your doctor at least once a month. Go to a counselor every two weeks. If you have a good relationship and support from your treating doctor, then that is a good sign you will win benefits.


The older you are, the easier it is for you to win SSDI and SSI benefits. The reason for this is the SSA can apply the Medical-Vocational Guidelines to your case.

If you are over 50 years old, the rules state that even if you can perform seated unskilled work, then (as long as it was not your past work), you would win benefits. SSA’s rules show that the older a person becomes, the less likely they are to be hired by employers. They also recognize that it is more difficult to learn new skills and change jobs as you age. Learn more here about how being over 50 years old is helpful to win your benefits.

For example, maybe you worked doing a physical labor job, like construction. Now, due to a herniated disc in your back, you can no longer do that job. If you are younger than 50, then the SSA might decide you can get an office job. Even if you don’t know how to do an office job, the SSA will believe you could learn how to do it. However, if you are older than 50, the SSA does not expect you to learn a new career.


Another sign that you will win SSD benefits is being able to prove you can no longer do your past job. If you have records from your former employer which show you cannot work, then you should submit them to the SSA. For example, attendance records that show you missed work on a weekly basis are good evidence.

Additionally, you could submit records from your former employer showing that you took extra breaks at work. Or, that you were fired from your job due to poor performance or lack of attendance because of your medical conditions.

Also, if you used FMLA while you were working, then submit those records to the SSA. Finally, if you stopped working and started to receive private long term disability benefits, then you should also submit those records to the SSA. Remember, in order to prove your medical conditions prevent you from working, you must show you have been off work for at least 12 months.

If you have medical evidence from your doctor that is a good sign. Also, records from your former employer which show you cannot work a 40 hour work week, are another great sign that you will win SSDI and SSI benefits.


Sedentary work is the simplest form of work. When you think about your work, if you have a desk job, then you have a sedentary job. Such work requires lifting less than 10 pounds. It also requires you to be able to sit for six hours out of an 8 hour day. If you can prove that you cannot do a seated job, then you have also shown you are not able to perform light and medium work. Because those types of of job are harder to do, as they require more physical strength.

For example, depending on your ability to lift, sit, stand, walk, carry, and bend, the SSA will determine you can work in one or more of the following types of jobs:

  • Sedentary
  • Light
  • Medium
  • Heavy
  • Very heavy

Sedentary work is the easiest to perform, because it is seated. Light jobs require standing on your feet and some lifting. As an example, it requires the ability to lift up to 20 pounds. For light work, think cashier. Medium work requires heavier lifting. For an example of medium work, think janitor.  An example of heavy or very heavy work is the job of coal miner or oil field worker. These individuals must lift up to or over 100 pounds and perform labor on a daily basis.

When the SSA considers your benefit application, they determine your physical residual functional capacity (RFC). To determine your RFC, the SSA uses your medical evidence to define your physical limits in terms of lifting, sitting, standing, etc.. If your physical limits make you unable to perform your previous job (and your education or age prevents you from doing a different job), then this is one of the best signs you will win benefits.


If you don’t have a college degree or a special certificate, then that is another sign you might win SSDI and SSI benefits. A lower level of education means you may not be able to work in a skilled position. For example, being a plumber is a skilled job. Because it takes years of school and experience to become a plumber. That means the job requires skills that you cannot learn from doing any other kind of job.

The SSA uses the Dictionary of Occupational titles to define different types of jobs. Jobs are either unskilled, semi-skilled, or skilled. The following rules apply:

  • Unskilled work can be learned on the job in a short period of time, which is less than 30 days. You don’t need to go to school to learn how to do a job that requires no skills.
  • Semi-skilled work requires some skills, but it doesn’t involve complex work duties. Learning skills for these jobs takes 3-6 months.
  • Skilled work requires going to school or experience. For example, to become a lawyer, you must have a college degree and then go to law school for 3 years. Years of school give you the knowledge you need to practice law. However, even after school, you still need to practice law in order to obtain further skills. That is why jobs like being a lawyer are skilled.

If your case goes to a hearing with an SSA judge, then your education level will be crucial to whether or not you can perform other work. Skills from one job, may transfer to another job. If you do not have skills, then you cannot perform work that requires skills. In that case, you may no longer be able to perform any work.


There are times, even if you are over 50 years old, that the SSA will find you are still capable of working. This happens even if you can show that you cannot perform your past jobs. The SSA may find you can do a physically easier or mental less complex job. If that is the case, then the only way for you to win benefits is to prove you cannot sustain work for 40 hours a week.

The way to prove you cannot sustain work 40 hours a week is to show that you will be “off task.” For example, if your doctor requires you to lie down two hours a day to elevate your legs because of a heart condition, then you cannot work at any job. Likewise, if you have a mental condition or pain that prevents you from doing  simple tasks, you cannot sustain a job.

Other options are proving you need extra breaks during the day. These would be in addition to normal breaks. For example, if you have Crohn’s disease, you may need time away from your job to use the bathroom multiple times a day. Most employers will not give you multiple breaks on an ongoing basis.


Once you reach the hearing level of your SSD case, there are signs that tell you if you won your Social Security hearing. Below, please find the most important signs of winning at the hearing level:

  • The judge issues a bench decision at the SSDI hearing. This means the judge tells you and your attorney at the hearing (from the bench) that you have won your case. Normally, this does not happen. But, if it does, you can expect a quick written decision.
  • The judge asks few questions of you or your attorney and instead, goes straight to vocational expert testimony. This is also a good sign that you will win your case. It means the judge believes your medical evidence and only wants to ask the VE if there is any work that you can perform.
  • You get a judge that has a high award rate. This means that the judge is more likely to approve your case if the evidence shows you cannot work.  Unfortunately, there are a few judges who have extremely low grant rates. These judges are few and far between, but they may approve only 10% of their cases. With judges like these, there is very little you can do to win your benefits.

It is important to note that there is no guarantee that you will win your case. Even if all of the above signs that you will win benefits are positive. The decision as to an award of benefits is ultimately up to the judge. If you do not win your case, you can appeal the decision to the Appeals Council. Learn more about filing an appeal of the hearing decision to the Appeals Council and Federal Court.


Since most claims are denied, you should work with a Social Security lawyer who is an expert in winning SSD benefits from the SSA. An attorney can walk you through the application process. They can also help you collect the medical evidence the SSA needs to see to grant your benefits.

Because the claim process can take months, your Social Security attorney might be able to make the process go faster with the SSA. If the SSA denies your claim, your attorney will file an appeal with the SSA.

There is evidence that hiring an attorney with experience in Social Security matters makes it three times more likely that you will receive benefits. Obviously, a law firm that practices Social Security law on a daily basis can help you win benefits. For the past 30 years, our Social Security Law firm has helped our clients win benefits. We offer a free review of your case. Also, there is no attorney fee for you to pay unless you win benefits. Give us a call today to see if we can help you win benefits.


Is there a sign that you have won your benefits? If you have just applied for benefits and you win, then you will receive your decision in the mail. If your case is not granted, then you will also receive a denial in the mail. The denial will have an explanation of why you were denied benefits. Over 90% of cases are denied at the initial level. If your case goes to hearing, then you will also receive a decision in the mail. Your attorney receives the decision at the same time you do.

Unfortunately, the SSA does not give any sign as to what they are going to do in any given case. Denials don’t arrive any faster than a win. Also, if the SSA sends you to see one of their doctors, that is not a sign that you will win your case. But, it is a sign that they are trying to get more information about your health. Learn more about the medical exam with one of SSA’s doctors.

The best way to know if you will win your case is to look at the medical evidence in your case. If you treating doctor supports you and you have not been working for over one year, then you have a good sign that you will win your case. However, some conditions are compassionate allowances. These medical conditions automatically qualify you for SSDI benefits. Read the list of the conditions that automatically qualify for benefits.


You do not need to apply for Social Security benefits by yourself. You can always call our law firm and we will help you win benefits. There is no charge to call us. Cannon Disability can help you file your SSDI and SSI application. Also, we can help you appeal every SSA denial. For example, our attorneys and staff can:

If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back. If you don’t send it back, the SSA will not process your application. Sign it and send it back as soon as you can.


If your lawyer offers a free review of your case, that is a good sign you will win benefits. Because your lawyer knows what they are doing. If you need help filing for benefits, then call our law firm.

Additionally, we offer a free review of your case. What that means is that you can call us and explain your situation. At that point, we will look at the merits of your case for free. Next, we let you know if you have a chance to win SSD benefits. We do not charge you for our review of your case.

In the past 30 years, we have won over $100 million in SSDI and SSI benefits for our clients. We are experts at what we do and we will put our knowledge to work for you. Hire us to be your Social Security legal team.

We help clients win benefits in many states, including Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and California. Find out more about your benefits and how to apply in your state:

No matter where you live, we want to be your legal team. Hire the best Social Security legal team with no money down. Also, there will be no attorney fee unless we win your case. Contact us today. We will do our best to help you win SSDI and SSI benefits for your medical conditions. We know that not being able to work and running through your savings is hard to take. Therefore, we will also due our best to win your benefits as quickly as possible.


The SSA has capped attorney fees in Social Security cases at 25% of your past due or back benefit or $7200. You pay whichever amount is less. This is the most your attorney can charge you if your case is won at the hearing level or below.

For example, if your attorney wins your SSDI case and your back benefit is $10,000, then the attorney fee will be 25% or $2500. In such a case, you would not pay the $7200 cap. Instead, the attorney fee is 25% of the back benefit, which is less than the cap. This is what happens in most SSDI and SSI cases.

In another example, if you attorney wins your SSDI case and your back benefit is $100,000, then the attorney fee is not $25,000. Instead, the attorney fee would be the cap of $7200. Because $7200 is the most your attorney can charge you after winning your case at the hearing level or below.

Additionally, your attorney can only charge an attorney fee if they win your case. In other words, if you do not win your benefits, then you do not pay an attorney fee. This means that your attorney has worked for up to two years on your case for free. So, if you don’t get benefits, then your attorney doesn’t get paid. Obviously, your attorney has a good reason to win your case.  Because the attorney fee is only paid when you win your benefits. Learn more about attorney fees in SSD cases.


It isn’t easy to get Social Security benefits.  The application process can be frustrating for most people. But, having an attorney during the five step SSA review process can relieve stress. In our experience, when you have a law firm handling your SSD case, the SSA follows their own procedures.

Additionally, when you have an attorney with legal experience, they will have access to Social Security’s decisions throughout the process. They can also submit medical evidence that may be missing from your case.

There is evidence that hiring an expert SSD attorney triples your chances of winning SSD benefits. It is also smart to hire an attorney to represent you at your hearing. After all, you are the star witness at your hearing. If you hire an attorney with experience, then they can prepare you to testify at your hearing. Learn more about how to prepare for your hearing.


What will it cost you if you don’t hire a lawyer with the legal experience to win your case? If you win your benefits, then you will receive monthly benefits until age 67. For example, if you win benefits at 50 years old, then you get benefits for the next 17 years. You may also win two of years of past due benefits. That means 19 years of payments to the average 50 year old.

Nineteen years is is 228 months. At $1200 a month (which is a lower than average benefit amount), that is $273,600. Additionally, you will win a higher retirement benefit after the age of 67. Let’s say the average higher retirement benefit is $300 a month and you live to be 90 years old. That is another $82,800.

It costs 25% of your back benefit OR $7200 from your back benefit to pay your attorney. You pay whatever is less and only if you win. Let’s pretend you pay the maximum fee of $7200. If you win your case, then your attorney has just won you $356,400, plus early Medicare benefits. You attorney will be paid $7200 and you will be paid $349,200.

All attorneys charge the same amount. So, you can go it alone and not hire an attorney. But chances are, if you go it alone, you will lose $356,400. Or, you can hire an attorney with no experience and still pay $7200 if they manage to win your case. Finally, you can hire an attorney with over 30 years of experience and still pay $7200 and win $349,200. The choice is yours. But, we hope you can see that the cost of a lawyer with 30 years of experience is “worth it.”


The SSA benefits application and appeal process can be long and complex. Hire Cannon Disability Law to give you legal advice and walk you through the application process. In the past 30 years, we have won millions of dollars in ongoing and past due benefits for our clients.

If you need SSDI and SSI benefits, then hire an attorney with the legal experience to win your case. You only pay us an attorney fee when you win benefits. If you don’t win, you don’t pay an attorney fee. Look at the signs that you will win benefits, but also hire an attorney to triple your chances of winning. For help, contact us today.

If you want to learn more about our lawyers and staff, then read About Us. For example, you can learn about Andria Summers, who has 21 experience working at Cannon Disability Law. She can also help you with your Medicare advantage plan. She has also won thousands of SSDI and SSI cases.

Additionally, Dianna Cannon has been helping her clients win benefits for over thirty years. Ms. Cannon has years of Federal Court experience. She has also taught law school and written a book on SSDI benefits. Brett Bunkall also has years of legal experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSD benefits. We are Social Security law experts.

You can trust us to help you win your benefits. Remember the signs you will win benefits are important, but so is hiring the right attorney. We will do everything we can to make the difficult process of winning SSD benefits as easy as possible for you.

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