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
Your Chances With SSDI Disability or SSI On the First Appeal, The Reconsideration
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
There is nothing easy about pursuing disability with Social Security, and the first appeal level does nothing to make it any easier. The chances of getting SSDI or SSI disability on the first appeal are "not quite" next to nil, but the simple fact is that approximately seventy of claims are denied on the disability application and more than eighty percent of claims are denied on the first appeal (the request for reconsideration appeal, which, like the initial claim, is handled by a disability examiner at disability determination services, the agency that makes disability claim decisions for the social security office).
Over the years, both Social Security and those who represent disability claimants have gone back and forth on the usefulness of the first appeal, or ,more properly, the reconsideration appeal. Reconsideration appeals are basically an update of a person’s medical and work information from the initial disability claim.
Reconsideration appeals are sent to the same state disability agency (DDS) that denied the initial disability claim. Which, of course, means there is little chance of a disability allowance unless the initial disability examiner made a mistake or there is some new medical information that would now allow for a finding of disability. Usually, disability examiners make correct medical determinations according to the disability guidelines of Social Security so very few initial disability claim denials overturned at the reconsideration appeal. Most reconsideration appeal disability approvals are the result of a change in the disability claimant’s medical condition.
The chances of winning disability are actually better at the initial disability claim level than the reconsideration or first appeal level. About thirty-five percent of all initial disability claims result in an approval for disability benefits, while only about ten to fifteen percent of reconsideration appeals result in an approval for benefits.
Unfortunately, most disability claimants have to consider the reconsideration appeal as a necessary step toward a disability hearing. If a person can struggle through the initial disability claim and reconsideration appeal denial, they will have their best chance of being approved for disability at the second appeal level or the administrative law judge hearing. About two thirds of all disability claimant who attend their disability hearing are approved for SSDI or SSI disability benefits.
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