Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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What Are The Odds of Winning A Social Security Disability Appeal?
If you appeal your initial disability denial, your odds of winning disability benefits depend on the appeal level of your disability claim. Reconsideration appeals are sent to the same state disability determination agency that made your initial disability decision. The only difference is that your reconsideration appeal decision will be made by a different disability examiner. Unfortunately, the change in disability examiners does not improve your odds of being approved for disability benefits.
This is not surprising considering that reconsideration appeals are decided using the same guidelines as initial disability decisions. Consequently, the initial disability claim examiner would have to have made a mistake or there would have to be new medical evidence to support that the initial disability decision was incorrect. The reconsideration appeal level has the worst approval rate of the Social Security disability process with a denial rate of about eighty-five percent.
If you are one of the eighty-five percent who receive a reconsideration appeal denial, you will have to file a request for an administrative law judge disability hearing if you still wish to pursue your disability claim. Unlike the reconsideration appeal, your odds of being approved for disability benefits dramatically improve at this level of the disability process. About sixty-five percent of all individuals who attend a disability hearings are approved for disability benefits.
If you are not approved at your disability hearing, you can appeal your hearing decision to the Appeals Council. However the odds of winning disability at this level of the disability process are next to none. A very small percent of all Appeals Council Review requests are remanded back to the administrative law judge who made the hearing decision for another look--as you might imagine the approval rate for remands is small. An even smaller amount of these appeals result in an actual approval for disability.
Now you have to consider if the time it takes to get a decision from the Appeals Council Review is worth it. Under the old Social Security appeal guidelines, you could file a new disability claim while waiting for your decision, However, new Social Security guidelines have changed this. Currently, you have to choose between filing an Appeals Council review request or a new disability claim.
Unless there is a very good chance your disability claim can win this appeal, you should probably forgo the appeal and file a new disability claim. There may be circumstances that make it worthwhile for you to file an Appeals Council Review appeal, if you have a representative they will help you determine if your odds of winning this appeal are good.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
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