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

How Likely Is It That A Social Security Disability Claim Will Be Won Prior To The Hearing Level?

Many people believe that there is no possibility of winning a disability claim prior to a hearing before a social security administrative law judge. While the administrative law judge hearing has the highest disability approval rate (the approval rate for disability claimants at administrative law judge hearings is over sixty-five percent), it is not the only level of the Social Security disability process at which a person can win a disability claim.

Most people do not know that more than thirty-five percent of all individuals who file initial disability claims win their disability benefits (meaning they've won their benefits at the application level) and about ten or fifteen percent of the disability claimants who file a reconsideration (the first appeal available to claimants who have been denied on an application) win their disability benefits.

The poor approval rates for the reconsideration appeal level is not surprising because reconsideration appeal decisions are made at the same disability agency at which initial claims are made.

The only difference between an initial disability claim and a reconsideration appeal is that a different disability examiner makes the reconsideration appeal decision. The actual process (gathering records, analyzing them to see if a claimant has a condition that either meets a disability listing, or makes it impossible for them to do a former job or some type of other work, etc) is exactly the same.

So, unless the disability examiner who made the first decision made an error, or there is new medical evidence (that has come into being between the time of the disability application and the reconsideration filing) that supports a different decision, it is unlikely the outcome for the disability claim will change with the reconsideration appeal.

The best thing anyone can probably say about the reconsideration appeal is that it was a necessary step on the path to a disability hearing. And this is simply because a request for hearing before an administrative law judge cannot be filed until a claimant has gone through the first appeal step (the request for reconsideration) and been denied.

Although the disability process can be long and full of hardships, individuals who follow the process through the administrative law judge hearing have a very good chance of winning their disability benefits. So, do not be discouraged when your disability claim is denied or even if your reconsideration appeal is denied as the majority of disability claimants are denied at these levels.

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

Related pages:

What is the Difference Between Filing A New Disability Claim And Filing A Disability Appeal?
How Likely Is It That A Social Security Disability Claim Will Be Won Prior To The Hearing Level?
How do you find out if a Social Security disability claim has been approved or even denied?
What Happens When You File A Second Social Security Disability Claim?
What Happens in the processing of a disability claim after you file?
A Short Checklist for Filing A Disability Claim Under SSI or SSD
Will Your Claim for Disability be Handled Differently if Based on a Physical or Mental Problem?
How to Claim Disability Benefits through Social Security
How to claim disability benefits in North Carolina

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