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Overview of Disability

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Requirements for Disability

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How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Mistakes after a Denial

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

Disability Awards and Notices

Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions

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How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?

As a former disability examiner, I know that many people think a disability claim has to be denied a certain amount of times before being approved. This is a fallacy. There is no certain amount of denials that will guarantee an approval for disability benefits and not all initial disability claimants are denied.

If this not the case, then what are the chances of being approved for disability at the initial disability claim level (i.e. the disability application level)?

Across the nation, initial disability claim approval rates are an average of thirty to thirty-five percent. While that is not the best of rates, it still means that many individuals are approved at this level of the Social Security disability process.

If an individual is denied, it is to their benefit to appeal the denial rather than file a new disability claim. It would stand to reason if a personís disability claim is denied, the decision is not going to change if they just file another disability claim (which will be sent to the same state disability agency, DDS, also known as disability determination services). More than likely, it will just be denied for the same reasons that their first disability claim was denied.

While reconsideration appeal (the request for reconsideration is the first appeal that may be filed) approval rates are dismal--about ten to fifteen percent--they are still a step in the right direction.

Reconsideration appeals are also sent to disability determination services for a medical decision; the only difference is that another disability examiner reviews the file and makes a decision. Logically, unless the first disability examiner made a mistake, or new medical evidence has come to light, the reconsideration appeal may be denied for the same reasons that the initial disability claim was denied.

It may seem like the reconsideration appeal is no better than filing a new disability claim at first glance. However, filing a reconsideration is much better than filing another initial disability claim (in other words, filing a brand new claim) because it is a step closer toward a social security disability hearing conducted by an administrative law judge, or ALJ.

If the reconsideration appeal is denied, and this is usually the case, then the disability claimant can file a formal "request for hearing before an administrative law judge".

The ALJ hearing results in an approval for benefits for about two thirds of all disability claimants who follow the appeal process to the hearing level. While an individual may receive several denials prior to winning their disability benefits, they will win their benefits must faster if they follow the appeal process.

Even if they have to go through the appeal process more than one time, they are still more likely to be approved for disability benefits than a disability claimant who files a multitude of initial disability claims.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

If I Get Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability, What Do I Do?
What Are The Reasons For Social Security Disability Cases Being Denied?
What happens if you get denied for social security disability three times?
Why Will A Social Security Disability Application Get Denied?
How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?
Can You Avoid Being Denied on a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim?
What happens if a reconsideration for Social Security Disability or SSI is denied?
What should be done if your disability is denied?
How do you appeal if you are denied for Social Security disability or SSI?
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria