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
Disability Hearings - how many are won?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
The second level of the Social Security disability appeals process is a hearing before an administrative law judge. Statistically, most disability claims for either social security disability or SSI are won at the at the disability hearing level. You may be wondering what makes the Social Security hearings appeal level more favorable toward the disability applicant than either the disability application or the first appeal, the reconsideration.
There are actually a couple of things that make the disability hearings appeal level more favorable to Social Security disability claimants and SSI claimants.
The disability hearings level is the only time you will meet and be able to speak in person to the individual who is going to adjudicate (make a decision) your disability claim. This can make quite a difference in the process and because of this you will cease to be simply "a file". The judge will have the opportunity to question you and your disability attorney about your medical treatment history and your work history. And, likewise, you will have the opportunity to provide immediate answers and provide information regarding your condition and how it has affected your ability to work.
Additionally, this person (the administrative law judge) has the power to be more lenient in their interpretation of Social Security disability rules and guidelines while making a disability decision than the previous initial claim or reconsideration appeal levels (decided by a disability examiner at a state agency usually known as DDS). About half of all the disability claims that reach an administrative law judge hearing are an allowance, meaning they are approved.
The next question that may come to mind is Do you have to have a representative to win your disability claim?. The simple answer to the question is no you do not have representative. However, if you want to win your disability claim it may be wise to hire a representative.
More Social Security disability and SSI claims with representation are won at the administrative law judge hearing; moreover statistics suggest that an average of sixty percent of the disability claims with representatives are won, and that some representatives win anywhere from seventy to ninety percent of their disability hearings.
How can disability attorneys win such a high percentage of the cases they handle? Simply because it is easier for your representative, who knows the inner workings of the Social Security disability process, to present the facts of your disability claim in a manner that is most favorable to your winning Social Security disability or SSI disability benefits.
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