Do I Have A Good Chance Of Winning Social Security Disability On Appeal?
The answer to this question depends upon which angle you look at it from. You have a fairly decent chance of winning Social Security Disability if you appeal your disability claim to an administrative law judge hearing. The Social Security Disability process begins with an initial disability claim and it could end in federal court, although most disability claimants only pursue their disability claim through the administrative law judge hearing level, or perhaps an appeals council review (the appeals council is where denials issued by administrative law judges are appealed).
The likelihood of an administrative law judge's decision being turned over at the appeals council review is rare, so rare, in fact, that disability claimants are allowed to file a new disability claim while awaiting their appeals council review decision.
If you are just considering your chances of winning your Social Security Disability or SSI disability benefits at a certain level of the appeal process, then it should be first clarified that the average claimant will not have a good chance of winning Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income disability (SSI) at the first appeal level, which is the reconsideration appeal level. The average national approval rate for reconsideration appeals is about ten to fifteen percent.
However, if you receive a denial of your reconsideration appeal, the chance of winning disability benefits with the Social Security Administration dramatically improves if A) you are not discouraged and B) you file a request for an administrative law judge hearing. The administrative law judge hearing level is the most winnable level of the Social Security Disability appeal process. Administrative law judges approve about sixty-six percent or two thirds of all disability claimants who attend their disability hearing, provided that they are represented by a disability attorney or a non-attorney representative.
You just have to avoid giving up after being denied at the initial disability claim (i.e. the disability application) level and reconsideration appeal level. Which means taking the next step and filing a request for a disability hearing. It can take twelve months or longer to be scheduled for a disability hearing.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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