Topic Categories:

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

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Ask a question, get an answer

Does Social Security turn down every disability case the first time ?

How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits

The answer to this question is no. The social security administration does not turn down every case the first time, though this is a commonly held assumption that you tend to read in many forums and which has grown into something of a myth.

In actuality, there is no set number of times that a social security disability or SSI claim has to be denied for an allowance (i.e. an approval) to be granted, nor is every disability claim automatically turned down the first time. Some individuals have medical conditions that immediately meet the medical disability criteria for something known as a disability listing (in the social security administration's list of impairments, often referred to as the blue book).

In these cases, the medical evidence that has been gathered for a claimant's case is particularly strong and allows the disability examiner working on the case to quickly determine that their accumulated evidence satisfies the listing--such as the listing for bipolar disorder--referred to by SSA as bipolar syndrome--or one of the musculoskeletal listings, such as disorders of the spine.

In most other cases, the combination of medical evidence and work history information will point to medical, vocational, education, and age factors sufficient enough to establish that the claimant's condition prevents them from returning to work activity. And this conclusion would result in an approval on an initial claim.

Actually, the statistical data for many years suggests that about thirty percent of all initial claims are allowed (i.e. approved for disability benefits) on a national average. This flies in the face of the assumption that social security turns down all cases on the first disability application.

It does mean, however, that seventy percent of all applications for disability are denied. Meaning that the majority of individuals who are seeking to receive social security disability or SSI disability benefits will probably have to appeal their denial and, possibly, obtain representation from a disability attorney.

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

Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews