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
How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?
If you know individuals who have applied for disability, you may have heard the idea that you have to apply a certain number of times before you get approved. Speaking as a former disability examiner, I know firsthand that many people think a disability claim has to be denied a certain amount of times before eventually being approved for SSD or SSI. Both notions are incorrect.
What's really going on
What is true is what generally happens in most cases. The disability application is filed and then gets denied (usually, a 70 percent denial rate); the request for reconsideration appeal is filed and gets denied (usually an 85 percent denial rate for this appeal); finally, a disability hearing is held and the individual has a much better chance of being awarded benefits.
All of this happens not because of some rule that says a person has to file X number of times or be denied X number of times, but simply because the deck is stacked against a person at the first two levels of the system. It is only at the third level, the disability hearing before an ALJ, that a person can appear before the decision-maker who is a judge, present an argument for approval by their disability attorney, and respond directly to questions. Quite importantly, of course, is the ability to be seen in person and not be simply a case file.
Most get denied twice
For a high percentage of individuals with good cases and good representation provided by a disability lawyer or non-attorney representative, there will be two denials and then an approval. However, no rule guides this outcome, and the quality of the case evidence and the preparation of the case can make all the difference.
Some individuals will be denied even at their hearing and the choice at that point will be to 1. stop any further action, 2. file a new claim, or 3. do the next appeal involving the appeals council. What to do next is something that should be considered very carefully and this is where consultation with one's attorney can be vitally important.
Things to keep in mind about being denied
1. If you get denied for disability, remember that most people do get denied.
2. Do not give up. Though some people will make the right decision in stopping, for most this is a clear mistake.
3. File your appeal promptly. Do not take the 60 days allotted for doing an appeal. Get the appeal filed IMMEDIATELY so your case can move as fast as possible in an otherwise slow disability system.
4. If your next step is to request a disability hearing, get a representative or lawyer to help you.
Filing appeals instead of re-applying is IMPORTANT
If an individual is denied, it is to their benefit to appeal the denial rather than file a new disability claim. It would stand to reason if a person’s disability claim is denied, the decision is not going to change if they just file another disability claim (which will be sent to the same state disability agency, DDS, also known as disability determination services). More than likely, it will just be denied for the same reasons that their first disability claim was denied.
Updated: What is the rate of approval and denial for disability claims?
Doing the first appeal, the reconsideration, is better than starting all over. While reconsideration appeal approval rates are dismal--about ten to fifteen percent--they are still a step in the right direction.
Reconsideration appeals are also sent to disability determination services for a medical decision; the only difference is that another disability examiner reviews the file and makes a decision. Logically, unless the first disability examiner made a mistake, or new medical evidence has come to light, the reconsideration appeal may be denied for the same reasons that the initial disability claim was denied.
It may seem like the reconsideration appeal is no better than filing a new disability claim at first glance. However, filing a reconsideration is much better than filing another initial disability claim (in other words, filing a brand new claim) because it is a step closer toward a social security disability hearing conducted by an administrative law judge, or ALJ.
If the reconsideration appeal is denied, and this is usually the case, then the disability claimant can file a formal "request for hearing before an administrative law judge".
The ALJ hearing results in an approval for benefits for about two thirds of all disability claimants who follow the appeal process to the hearing level. While an individual may receive several denials prior to winning their disability benefits, they will win their benefits much faster if they follow the appeal process.
Even if they have to go through the appeal process more than one time, they are still more likely to be approved for disability benefits than a disability claimant who files a multitude of initial disability claims.
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?
How to get disability, tip 4
Do CE exams usually result in denials for disability?
Can I qualify for disability if I am working?
If I Get Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability, What Do I Do?
What Are The Reasons For Social Security Disability Cases Being Denied?
What happens if you get denied for Social Security Disability three times?
Why Will A Social Security Disability Application Get Denied?
How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?
Can You Avoid Being Denied on a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim?
What happens if a reconsideration for Social Security Disability or SSI is denied?
What should be done if your disability is denied?
How do you appeal if you are denied for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Getting a Disability Lawyer in New York
If you apply for disability in New York
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in New York
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.