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 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 go 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.

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:

SSI Disability Appeal works better than a new claim
Can you speed up a disability claim?
Is there a cap on back pay for SSI?
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

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.