What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
How Likely Is It That A Social Security Disability Claim Will Be Won Prior To The Hearing Level?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Many people believe that there is no possibility of winning their disability claim prior to a hearing before a social security administrative law judge. While the administrative law judge hearing has the highest disability approval rate (the approval rate for disability claimants at administrative law judge hearings is over sixty-five percent), it is not the only level of the Social Security disability process at which a person can win their disability claim.
Most people do not know that more than thirty-five percent of all individuals who file initial disability claims win their disability benefits (meaning they've won their benefits at the application level) and about ten or fifteen percent of the disability claimants who file a reconsideration (the first appeal available to claimants who have been denied on an application) win their disability benefits.
The poor approval rates for the reconsideration appeal level is not surprising because reconsideration appeal decisions are made at the same disability agency at which initial claims are made.
The only difference between an initial disability claim and a reconsideration appeal is that a different disability examiner makes the reconsideration appeal decision. The actual process (gathering records, analyzing them to see if a claimant has a condition that either meets a disability listing, or makes it impossible for them to do a former job or some type of other work, etc) is exactly the same.
So, unless the disability examiner who made the first decision made an error, or there is new medical evidence (that has come into being between the time of the disability application and the reconsideration filing) that supports a different decision, it is unlikely the outcome for the disability claim will change with the reconsideration appeal.
The best thing anyone can probably say about the reconsideration appeal is that it was a necessary step on the path to a disability hearing. And this is simply because a request for hearing before an administrative law judge cannot be filed until a claimant has gone through the first appeal step (the request for reconsideration) and been denied.
Although the disability process can be long and full of hardships, individuals who follow the process through the administrative law judge hearing have a very good chance of winning their disability benefits. So, do not be discouraged when your disability claim is denied or even if your reconsideration appeal is denied as the majority of disability claimants are denied at these levels.
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Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials