Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after a Denial
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
Child Disability Benefits
Qualifications and How to Qualify
Working and Disability
Disability Awards and Notices
Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys
Social Security List of Conditions
What Social Security considers disabling
Medical Evidence and Disability
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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Denied on a Social Security Disability Claim in New York
If you have filed a claim for disability in New York and been denied, the thing to keep in mind is that this decision is not necessarily a reflection of the severity of your impairment. It’s very difficult to be approved for disability at the initial application level—only approximately 7 out of 10 initial applications in New York are approved, on average. This statistic is fairly consistent regardless of one's state of residence.
Some people who are turned down for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) make one of two mistakes: Either they give up completely, or start over with a brand new claim.
Giving up, if you are living with an impairment that is having an impact on your ability to work, particularly one that is likely to worsen over time, is not truly an option. At some point in the future you will find yourself in worse health, physically, mentally, and financially, and the process of applying for disability will only become more difficult.
Filing a new claim because you hope to get a different result if a different disability examiner reviews you claim is also not a good idea. The state agency that decides all initial applications for Social Security, usually called the Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency, tends to have an insitutional culture of denial. Submitting the same claim to the same agency is likely to result in yet another denial, and waste months of your time (it takes about 3 to 4 months to receive a decision on a claim).
If you are denied for SSD or SSI, your first step should be to immediately appeal. This first appeal, a request for reconsideration, must be filed within 60 days (plus 5 days grace for mailing) from the date stamped in the upper right corner of your notice of denial. If you miss the deadline you will probably have to file a new claim, a bad idea as previously stated.
Is your claim more likely to be approved as a result of a reconsideration appeal? Not really. Reconsideration appeals are also decided by DDS, the same agency that made the initial denial. The exception here could be if you have any new medical evidence to add to the record such as medical test results, reports from ER visits, etc. Only about 15% of all reconsideration appeals are successful.
You’re probably wondering, at this point, why you should bother to appeal at all. The reason for going through the disability appeals process is that it keeps your claim advancing through the system to the second level of appeal, the disability hearing. Disability hearings take place before a federal administrative law judge. Statistically, ALJs are far more likely to approve applications for SSD and SSI than the disability examiners employed by DDS.
In short, the disability hearing presents a claimant with his best chance of winning benefits, particularly when represented by a disability attorney or non-attorney rep. About 60% of those who attend a disability hearing with legal representation are approved.
If you are denied for disability, does it ever make sense to file a new claim rather than an appeal? Only if your denial was based on non-medical criteria; for instance, if you made too much money to qualify for disability benefits at the time you first filed but your monthly income has since decreased, or if your reconsideration appeal was denied because you missed a deadline, or, in the case of those filing for SSI, if the value of your total assets was too high (to qualify for SSI you must demonstrate financial need, with assets totaling not more than $2,000 excluding your home and one car).
In all other instances it is better to appeal than file a new claim, and filing an appeal is exactly what you should do if you are denied for disability.
At each level of appeal, a claimant has a better chance of winning benefits than he would if he either gave up entirely or skipped the appeals process in favor of filing the same claim again with DDS. At hearings, claimants who have been previously denied at the application and reconsideration appeal levels tend to have up to a sixty percent of being awarded benefits, particularly when representation is involved and when a well-reasoned and well-documented case is presented before a judge.
Note: The reconsideration appeal is currently suspended in the state of New York as New York is one of 10 prototype states testing the removal of this appeal step. Reconsideration may be reinstated at some point. However, at this time, a denied claimant should request, and prepare, for a disability hearing to be conducted in front of a federal administrative law judge.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Will a Social Security Judge give You an Immediate Decision at the Disability Hearing?
Basic Facts about the Administrative Law Judge Social Security Disability Hearing
Are the Chances of Winning Disability Benefits Higher at a Social Security Hearing with a Judge?
Winning at a Social Security Disability Hearing
Social Security Disability Hearings - what to expect
What happens when you go to a Social Security disability hearing?
How do I request a social security disability hearing - How do I file?
Requesting a Social Security Hearing when you have a Disability Representative or Attorney
How long does a request for a disability hearing appeal take?
What are the odds of a judge giving you a disability denial?
What is a Social Security administrative law judge disability hearing?
What is the time frame for a judge to make a decision for a disability hearing?
How should I prepare for a disability hearing with Social Security?
What are the questions that get asked at a social security disability or SSI hearing?
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria