Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Ask a question, get an answer
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.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions
Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews