Topic Categories:

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

SSI Benefits

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

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How do Social Security Disability and SSI appeals work?

If your initial Social Security disability claim is denied, you must contact the Social Security Administration and file an appeal. You must file your appeal within the appeals period (you have sixty days from the date of your last denial to file a disability appeal); if you are late you may have to start the disability process again with a new claim.

Once you have filed your appeal, your disability claim will go back to the state disability agency (in many states, this agency is known as DDS) for another decision with a different disability examiner.

However, do not be discouraged if you do not receive an approval. Even though the claim has a different decision maker on the appeal, the fact is that the rules for processing the disability claim remain the same. This makes it likely that the first appeal you file (known as a request for reconsideration) will be denied. In fact, in many states eight or nine out of ten reconsiderations are denied.

If your reconsideration is denied, you must file a hearings request with the Social Security Administration. This appeal is formally known as a request for hearing before an administrative law judge. Administrative law judges hold hearings at which claimants and their disability attorneys may appear. This is very unlike the application level or the reconsideration level in which the claimant never gets to see the decision maker for their SSD or SSI case.

Disability judges, i.e. administrative law judges, are allowed to take more factors into consideration while making their decisions and they are not bound by the strict rules and regulations that the state disability agency uses. What does this mean? It means more disability claim approvals.

For example, while only about a third of all disability applications are approved at the first step in the process, disability judges typically approve more than half of all cases heard by them. And this percentage is even higher for claimants who go to hearings with attorneys.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

The Levels Of The Social Security Disability and SSI Application and Appeal Process
How does the Social Security Disability Appeal Process work?
Is it better to appeal or file a new claim if your disability is denied?
How Long Are You Given To Appeal Your Social Security Disability Denial?
How Long Does a Social Security Disability or SSI Appeal Take?
Will I be approved for disability on my appeal?
What Happens If I Miss My Social Security Disability Appeal Date?
How Do I Find Out How My Disability Appeal Is Going?
Can You Work While You Appeal Your Social Security Disability Decision?
How Long Does It Take To Get SSDI If You Have To Appeal?
If Your Disability Benefits Are Stopped Can You Get Them While You Appeal?
Winning a Social Security Disability Appeal or SSI Appeal

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