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
Social Security Disability Denial, Does It Matter If I Get Denied On Reconsideration?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Denials are just a part of the Social Security disability process. In fact, more individuals are denied at the initial disability claim and reconsideration appeal level than are approved. National statistics indicate that about sixty-five percent of all initial disability claims are denied and about eighty five percent of all reconsideration appeals are denied. These statistics make it seem impossible to be approved for disability benefits.
Individuals who follow the Social Security disability appeal process are much more likely to receive disability benefits than those who file endless initial disability claims. So, how does the appeal process work?
If an individual receives a denial of a disability claim, they have sixty days to appeal that denial. Actually, they have sixty-five days from the date of the denial notice to file their reconsideration appeal. Reconsideration appeals are often denied because they are basically just a review of the initial disability claim decision.
Of course, a different disability examiner makes the reconsideration appeal decision, but the guidelines used to deny the initial disability claim are the same and the same state disability-processing agency will be making the decision. And it is reasonable to assume that it is highly unlikely that another disability examiner is going to come to a different decision. Unless there is new medical evidence to suggest that an individual is disabled, or that the disability examiner who made the initial disability decision made an error. Both of these situations are rare which might explain the dismal approval rate of the reconsideration appeal level.
The best way to look at a reconsideration appeal is that, if denied, the disability applicant is one step closer to the most winning level of the disability process, which is an ALJ hearing. After the reconsideration appeal, an individual can request a disability hearing with an administrative law judge, or ALJ.
The national average for approvals at the disability hearing level is about sixty-six percent. Consequently, individuals who appeal their initial disability claim denial through to the level of the administrative law judge disability hearing are much more likely to be approved for disability along the way than those who file multiple initial disability claims.
So does it matter if an individual gets denied at their reconsideration? Of course, it is never great to be denied for disability and it causes most disability applicants to have a lot of emotional duress. However, if an individual sticks with it and files a hearings request appeal, they are likely to be approved for disability benefits. Sometimes that is the only positive thing about a reconsideration appeal (because you can only request a hearing after your first appeal, the reconsideration, has been denied).
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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