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
What if you get denied for disability multiple times?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
It's not unusual to get denied for disability multiple times. As a disability examiner working on SSDI (social security disability insurance) and SSI (supplemental security income) claims, I routinely came across cases in which individuals had been denied more than fifteen times. In most of those cases, of course, the reason for so many denials was that the individual had never filed an appeal of their disability claim. Instead, they had simply applied over and over again each time their initial claim had been denied.
It is almost always a mistake to file a brand new application for disability after a claim has been denied. The reason for this is that if you file a new claim, your case will simply go through the exact same process and, most likely, be denied again for exactly the same reasons or very close to the same reasons. So, what do you do if you get denied? You file an appeal of your denial.
The first appeal is something known as a request for reconsideration. A request for reconsideration is handled very similarly to an initial disability application. However, recons, as they are called, are handled by a different examiner than the examiner who rendered the initial decision. Recons also usually go faster; in other words, the decision is usually made faster. This tends to make sense since most of the case development was already handled by the disability examiner for the initial claim and this case development was completed very recently.
Most reconsideration appeals are turned down. Which is not at all surprising considering that the process is nearly identical. However, for most claimants the real point of requesting a reconsideration appeal is not to simply do the reconsideration appeal. It is actually to get to the next step in the appeal process.
The next step in the appeal process is the request for hearing before an administrative law judge. The ALJ, or administrative law judge, hearing, is for most claimants the most important step in the entire process. At this level of the system, the claimant is allowed to appear before the person deciding their claim (the ALJ) and have the evidence that they, or their attorney or non-attorney representative, has gathered for them. It is unique in the entire disability claim system because it is the only time that a face-to-face meeting with the adjudicator is a given and, beyond that, guaranteed.
The rates of approval for those who to disability hearings are favorable. More than sixty percent of claimants with represenation will end up winning disability benefits. And that fact alone makes it vital to get to a disability hearing if your claim has been denied. But the only way to do that is to file the first appeal after your disability application has been denied (the request for reconsideration) and then file the second appeal, the request for a hearing, if the "recon" gets denied---and, statistically, it usually does.
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Topics and Questions
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