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

What happens if you get denied for Social Security Disability three times?

In a forum, an individual stated that they had gotten denied for disability benefits with the social security administration three times. They wondered what happened next in the process and what they should do.

There are two possible scenarios that might apply to this individual's situation. First of all, it may be that the individual has never filed an appeal, but, instead, has simply filed three separate disability applications. In other words, each time they were denied for disability they decided to start over from scratch instead of utilizing their appeal rights.

If that is the case, an individual in this position should contact the social security office where they filed their disability application and request an appeal. If they have a representative assisting them, such as a disability lawyer, they should contact this individual as soon as they learn that their claim has been denied so their representative can submit their appeal for them (one of the advantages of being represented is that your paperwork is handled for you and in a timely manner).

Note: in almost all cases, if your claim for disability gets denied, file an appeal. Eventually, if you persist, you will get your case in front of a federal administative law judge where, with representation, you will stand a better chance of being awarded disability benefits than being denied. If, on the other hand, you never file appeals, but continue to file brand new claims each time you get denied, you will probably just guarantee yourself more denials.

The other possible scenario is that this individual was denied on their disability application, was denied a second time on their request for reconsideration appeal (this is the first appeal that is available), and, finally, was denied a third time at their disability hearing before an ALJ (administrative law judge). If this is the case, the claimant has three separate choices:

1. Give up on their claim. Not recommmended, of course, simply because most claimants who are persistent and follow the appeals process will eventually win their claim. This probability is enhanced at the hearing level for those claimants who have representation since a representative will typically prepare the case for hearing (which includes obtaining medical record updates, attempting to get statements from treating physicians, and reviewing the social security file for prior decisions).

2. File an appeal with the appeals council. The appeals council is located in Falls Church, Virginia. Appeals filed with this body are essentially requests for review of the administrative law judge's decision.

3. File an appeal with the appeals council AND file a brand new disability application. Yes, this is the only level of the system where a claimant and their disability lawyer may file the next available appeal and simultaneously file a new disability claim. Very often, the claimant will receive a decision on the new claim before the appeals council has reviewed the decision of the administrative law judge on the prior claim. It makes sense to file a new claim in addition to filing an appeals council appeal because by the time a case has gotten this far there may be considerably more medical evidence in the file for a disability examiner (who would be deciding the new disability application) to review and base a new decision on.

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:

When to Appeal a Disability Denial
How do I stay eligible to keep getting my disability benefits?
Does Social Security send you to a MRI or CT scan?
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?
Awarded SSD benefits, can I work while getting disability?

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.