Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

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 individualís 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 individualís 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).

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

Related pages:

Should you Look at the Disability File that Social Security has on You?
How do I apply for a Social Security disability widowís 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?

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