SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
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?
More questions about SSD and SSI
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
What happens if you get denied for social security disability three times?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
In a forum, an individual stated that they had gotten denied for disability benefits with the social security administration three times. They wondered what happened next in the process and what they should do.
There are two possible scenarios that might apply to this individual's situation. First of all, it may be that the individual has never filed an appeal, but, instead, has simply filed three separate disability applications. In other words, each time they were denied for disability they decided to start over from scratch instead of utilizing their appeal rights.
If that is the case, an individual in this position should contact the social security office where they filed their disability application and request an appeal. If they have a representative assisting them, such as a disability lawyer, they should contact this individual as soon as they learn that their claim has been denied so their representative can submit their appeal for them (one of the advantages of being represented is that your paperwork is handled for you and in a timely manner).
Note: in almost all cases, if your claim for disability gets denied, file an appeal. Eventually, if you persist, you will get your case in front of a federal administative law judge where, with representation, you will stand a better chance of being awarded disability benefits than being denied. If, on the other hand, you never file appeals, but continue to file brand new claims each time you get denied, you will probably just guarantee yourself more denials.
The other possible scenario is that this individual was denied on their disability application, was denied a second time on their request for reconsideration appeal (this is the first appeal that is available), and, finally, was denied a third time at their disability hearing before an ALJ (administrative law judge). If this is the case, the claimant has three separate choices:
1. Give up on their claim. Not recommmended, of course, simply because most claimants who are persistent and follow the appeals process will eventually win their claim. This probability is enhanced at the hearing level for those claimants who have representation since a representative will typically prepare the case for hearing (which includes obtaining medical record updates, attempting to get statements from treating physicians, and reviewing the social security file for prior decisions).
2. File an appeal with the appeals council. The appeals council is located in Falls Church, Virginia. Appeals filed with this body are essentially requests for review of the administrative law judge's decision.
3. File an appeal with the appeals council AND file a brand new disability application. Yes, this is the only level of the system where a claimant and their disability lawyer may file the next available appeal and simultaneously file a new disability claim. Very often, the claimant will receive a decision on the new claim before the appeals council has reviewed the decision of the administrative law judge on the prior claim. It makes sense to file a new claim in addition to filing an appeals council appeal because by the time a case has gotten this far there may be considerably more medical evidence in the file for a disability examiner (who would be deciding the new disability application) to review and base a new decision on.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page