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

What if you get denied for disability multiple times?

It's not unusual to get denied for disability multiple times. As a disability examiner working on SSDI (social security disability insurance) and SSI (supplemental security income) claims, I routinely came across cases in which individuals had been denied more than fifteen times.

In most of those cases, of course, the reason for so many denials was that the individual had never filed an appeal of their disability claim. Instead, they had simply applied over and over again each time their initial claim had been denied.

It is almost always a mistake to file a brand new application for disability after a claim has been denied. The reason for this is that if you file a new claim, your case will simply go through the exact same process and, most likely, be denied again for exactly the same reasons or very close to the same reasons. So, what do you do if you get denied? You file an appeal of your denial.

The first appeal is something known as a request for reconsideration. A request for reconsideration is handled very similarly to an initial disability application. However, recons, as they are called, are handled by a different examiner than the examiner who rendered the initial decision.

Recons also usually go faster; in other words, the decision is usually made faster. This tends to make sense since most of the case development was already handled by the disability examiner for the initial claim and this case development was completed very recently.

Most reconsideration appeals are turned down. Which is not at all surprising considering that the process is nearly identical. However, for most claimants the real point of requesting a reconsideration appeal is not to simply do the reconsideration appeal. It is actually to get to the next step in the appeal process.

The next step in the appeal process is the request for hearing before an administrative law judge. The ALJ, or administrative law judge, hearing, is for most claimants the most important step in the entire process. At this level of the system, the claimant is allowed to appear before the person deciding their claim (the ALJ) and have the evidence that they, or their attorney or non-attorney representative, has gathered for them. It is unique in the entire disability claim system because it is the only time that a face-to-face meeting with the adjudicator is a given and, beyond that, guaranteed.

The rates of approval for those who to disability hearings are favorable. More than sixty percent of claimants with represenation will end up winning disability benefits. And that fact alone makes it vital to get to a disability hearing if your claim has been denied.

But the only way to do that is to file the first appeal after your disability application has been denied (the request for reconsideration) and then file the second appeal, the request for a hearing, if the "recon" gets denied---and, statistically, it usually does.

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

Related pages:

How to Appeal a disability claim denial from Social Security
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
What is a Social Security Disability Denial based on?
Are there ways to avoid being denied for SSI or social security disability?
What does a Disability Denial Letter from Social Security say?
Reconsideration of a Social Security Disability denial- what does it involve?
What to do if you receive notification of a Social Security Disability or SSI claim denial
If you receive a Social Security Disability Denial quickly does that mean the case is weak?
What happens if my SSI or Social Security Disability Application is denied?
Social Security Disability Denied The Reasons Why (medical denials)
SSI disability rule concerning living arrangements and shared household expenses

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