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
What options do you have after a disability claim has been denied?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If your Social Security disability claim has been denied, you have three options. You can appeal your disability claim denial, file a new disability claim, or chose not to pursue your disability claim.
If you are still unable to work because of your disabling condition, there is no reason not to pursue disability. So you really have two choices--file an appeal or file a new disability claim. In my experience as a disability examiner, there is no reason to file a new claim if you are able to appeal your initial disability claim denial.
Statistically, you stand a better chance of being approved for disability benefits sooner if you use the Social Security disability appeal process rather than beginning again with a new disability claim. If your disability claim decision was correct according to Social Security guidelines, a second and new disability claim would receive the same decision and you would be no closer to being approved for disability benefits.
The best option you have after your disability claim denial is an appeal. At least, an appeal would allow you a better chance of being approved for disability benefits.
Unfortunately, the first level of the appeal process offers less of a chance for an approval than your initial disability claim. However, it is a necessary step to getting to what is your best chance of being approved for disability benefits.
What do we mean by this? If you are not approved at the reconsideration appeal (only 10 – 15 percent are approved), your next appeal is a disability hearing appeal. Administrative law judge disability hearings offer the best chance of an approval for disability benefits. In fact, about sixty-five percent of all disability hearings end in an approval for disability.
If you choose to appeal the denial of your disability claim, you can file your appeal online or through your local office. You are allowed a sixty-five day appeal period that begins with the date of your denial notice (sixty days "official days" plus the extra five they give you for the mailing of your decision letter) to get your appeal to Social Security.
If you have a disability representative handling your disability case, they will make sure all of your appeals are filed timely. If you are handling your own appeal, make sure you file it timely; if your appeal is not filed on time you may have to begin the disability process again.
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