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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What are the chances of winning disability benefits through an appeal?
There are no statistics to reveal exactly what the chances of winning disability through an appeal actually are. However, as you appeal your claim through the Social Security disability and SSI process your chance of winning disability benefits may improve.
The first appeal level is a reconsideration appeal. Basically, the reconsideration appeal involves a review of the initial disability determination. The only difference between this level and the disability application is that the reconsideration is sent to a different disability examiner for a decision. All of the same guidelines are used for the decision and there is very little flexibility.
If the first disability examiner made no errors according to Social Security disability guidelines, there is very little chance that the reconsideration appeal will result in winning your disability benefits. In fact, the reconsideration appeal has an approval rate of only ten to fifteen percent.
At this point it is important not be become discouraged. Your reconsideration appeal denial clears the way for an administrative law judge disability hearing appeal. Unlike the reconsideration appeal, the hearing appeal offers you the best chance of winning your disability benefits.
The national disability hearing approval rate is about sixty-five percent, which is very high considering that about ten percent of administrative law judge hearing appeals are dismissed for reasons other than denial.
The reason so many disability applicants win their disability benefits at a hearing is there is more flexibility with regard to the criteria used to establish disability. Administrative law judges are not bound by the same rigid disability determination criteria that disability examiners have to use for their disability determinations.
An administrative law judge can take many other things into consideration when making their decision. And, while they basically adhere to disability guidelines established in the Social Security disability handbook and vocational guidelines, they use their own judgment and interpretation to make their disability determination. Because of this flexibility in their decision making process, many disability applicants win their disability benefits at this appeal level.
There are two other levels of appeal after an administrative law judge disability hearing. If your disability hearing is denied, you can appeal their decision with an Appeal Council Review request.
In the past, you were allowed to file an Appeals Council Review appeal and file a new disability claim at the same time. The reason for this was that most often Appeal Council Reviews do not lead to an approval for disability. However, Social Security has recently changed their regulations making disability applicants chose one or the other. At this juncture, you or your representative will have to determine which of these options offers you the best chance of winning your disability benefits.
Overall, the chances of winning your disability benefits through an appeal are fairly good. The trick to winning disability through an appeal is to make sure you appeal all denials and that you file your appeals timely.
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