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 ó how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Appealing A Social Security Disability Determination
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If your disability claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal of the denial. You have a sixty-five day total appeal period from the date of your disability denial notice to appeal your disability decision.
If you choose to file an appeal, you will file what is known as a request for reconsideration. You can file your own reconsideration online or you can complete paper reconsideration appeal forms. Whether you file your reconsideration online, or by paper, you must return signed medical release forms (so the disability examiner who eventually gets your case can send for the medical records) to Social Security. Just a reminder, even if you file everything online you must return your signed medical release forms in order for Social Security to send it back to the state disability agency for a decision.
The reconsideration appeal is sent to the same state disability agency (DDS, or disability determination services) that made your initial disability claim decision; however, a different disability examiner will make your reconsideration determination. Do not be discouraged if your reconsideration appeal is denied as well. There are very few reconsideration approvals, because disability examiners have very little flexibility in making their medical decisions.
For most disability applicants, the reconsideration appeal is simply a necessary step to eventually get to a disability hearing. If you receive a reconsideration denial notice, you once again have sixty-five days to file your request for a disability hearing.
As with the request for reconsideration, the request for a hearing can be done online or on paper. You can file the appeal and complete the disability report form online or on paper but, but unlike the reconsideration appeal, you do not actually have to return the medical release forms to Social Security in order for your appeal to be sent to the hearings office.
Administrative law judge hearings are an individualís best change of winning their disability claim if they have been denied at the initial disability claim level (i.e. the disability application level). In fact, more individuals are approved at administrative law judge hearings than at any of the other disability claim levels. Roughly two thirds of all disability applicants who attend hearings are approved for disability.
What if you are not successful at your hearing? If you are denied at the administrative law judge hearing, you can file another type of appeal: an "Appeals Council Review". So few of these reviews end in an approval, or even in a remand back to the judge (remands occur when disability case are sent back for the judge to address errors) that Social Security allows individuals to file a new initial disability claim while they are waiting on the Appeals Council decision.
The last appeal level is in Federal Court, and very few disability claims are ever taken to this level. Most individuals file a new initial disability claim if their hearing is denied rather than try to take it to Federal court.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
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