How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

If Social Security Turns Down My Case Can I apply For Disability A Second Time?

The simple answer to this question is yes. An individual can apply for disability as many times as they wish to apply. However, is it best to reapply for disability if your initial disability claim is denied?

No, statistically, it is not to an individual’s advantage to file a new claim if their initial disability claim is denied. It is far more advantageous for an individual to file an appeal of the denial of their disability case than to file another new disability claim. Only thirty five percent of initial disability claims result in an approval of disability benefits.

On the other hand, roughly two thirds of all disability cases are approved for disability benefits at the administrative law judge hearing, which represents the second appeal in the SSA system.

So how does an individual get to an administrative law judge hearing? If an individual’s initial disability claim is denied, they have a sixty-five day appeal period to file their first appeal, a request for reconsideration appeal. The reconsideration appeal is sent to the same state disability agency (DDS, which stands for disability determination services) for a medical decision.

And, as you might guess, there are very few approvals at this level of the disability process. The reason for this is simple. Reconsideration appeals are sent to the same agency for a decision and the process is exactly the same as what happened on the initial claim (the disability application). The only difference is that another disability examiner makes the medical decision.

Frankly, not many initial decisions are overturned at the reconsideration level because all disability examiners are bound by the same medical and vocational disability guidelines and there is very little flexibility in the decison-making process.

National statistics indicate only about ten to fifteen percent of all reconsiderations are disability approvals. For most individuals the request for reconsideration is just a stepping-stone to an administrative law judge hearing, which is the second appeal that a claimant may have.

In the end, individuals who file an appeal of their initial disability claim through to the level of an administrative law judge hearing are far more likely to win their disability benefits than those who file new disability claims following the denial of a prior claim. Why is this? The fact that administrative law judges have far more flexibility in making their disability decisions than state disability agency examiners is part of the answer.

However, most claimants who go to hearings before federal judges have representation in the form of a disability attorney or a non-attorney disability representative.

When representation is at hand, the case is generally made stronger as a result of case preparation that involves the claimant's representative obtaining updated medical records, statements from the claimant's treating physician, or physicians, as well as a review of the social security file, including the pior decisions that were made by disability examiners at the initial claim and reconsideration appeal levels.

By understanding why the case was previously denied at both levels, the representative can develop a greater understanding of what is needed to better substantiate the case in terms of evidence and a rationale for approval (to be presented to the judge).

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How long does a Social Security Disability judge have to make a ruling?
Denial by an ALJ at a Disability Hearing
How long does it take a disability judge to make a decision?
Should you Look at the Disability File that Social Security has on You?
How do I apply for a Social Security Disability widow’s claim?
Who handles my case if I apply for Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability Application Online
Can I apply for disability online?
Can I Collect Unemployment While I File For Disability Benefits (SSD or SSI)?
What medical conditions can you apply for disability for?
To Apply For SSI or SSD Disability Benefits, Where do I Start?
When You Apply For Disability, write Down Everything That Is Wrong With You
When I Apply For Disability, Should I List My Old Meds From Years Ago?
When I Apply for Disability - Should I apply for Social Security Disability or SSI?
What happens if you are working when you file for disability or work after you apply?
If Social Security Turns Down My Case Can I apply For Disability A Second Time?
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in New York
Getting a Disability Lawyer in New York
How do Disability Lawyers in New York get paid their fees?

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.