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

Denied on a Social Security Disability Claim in New York

If you have filed a claim for disability in New York and been denied, the thing to keep in mind is that this decision is not necessarily a reflection of the severity of your impairment. It’s very difficult to be approved for disability at the initial application level—only approximately 7 out of 10 initial applications in New York are approved, on average. This statistic is fairly consistent regardless of one's state of residence.

Some people who are turned down for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) make one of two mistakes: Either they give up completely, or start over with a brand new claim.

Giving up, if you are living with an impairment that is having an impact on your ability to work, particularly one that is likely to worsen over time, is not truly an option. At some point in the future you will find yourself in worse health, physically, mentally, and financially, and the process of applying for disability will only become more difficult.

Filing a new claim because you hope to get a different result if a different disability examiner reviews you claim is also not a good idea. The state agency that decides all initial applications for Social Security, usually called the Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency, tends to have an insitutional culture of denial. Submitting the same claim to the same agency is likely to result in yet another denial, and waste months of your time (it takes about 3 to 4 months to receive a decision on a claim).

If you are denied for SSD or SSI, your first step should be to immediately appeal. This first appeal, a request for reconsideration, must be filed within 60 days (plus 5 days grace for mailing) from the date stamped in the upper right corner of your notice of denial. If you miss the deadline you will probably have to file a new claim, a bad idea as previously stated.

Is your claim more likely to be approved as a result of a reconsideration appeal? Not really. Reconsideration appeals are also decided by DDS, the same agency that made the initial denial. The exception here could be if you have any new medical evidence to add to the record such as medical test results, reports from ER visits, etc. Only about 11% of all reconsideration appeals are successful.

You’re probably wondering, at this point, why you should bother to appeal at all. The reason for going through the disability appeals process is that it keeps your claim advancing through the system to the second level of appeal, the disability hearing. Disability hearings take place before a federal administrative law judge. Statistically, ALJs are far more likely to approve applications for SSD and SSI than the disability examiners employed by DDS.

In short, the disability hearing presents a claimant with his best chance of winning benefits, particularly when represented by a disability attorney or non-attorney rep. About 60% of those who attend a disability hearing with legal representation are approved.

If you are denied for disability, does it ever make sense to file a new claim rather than an appeal? Only if your denial was based on non-medical criteria; for instance, if you made too much money to qualify for disability benefits at the time you first filed but your monthly income has since decreased, or if your reconsideration appeal was denied because you missed a deadline, or, in the case of those filing for SSI, if the value of your total assets was too high (to qualify for SSI you must demonstrate financial need, with assets totaling not more than $2,000 excluding your home and one car).

In all other instances it is better to appeal than file a new claim, and filing an appeal is exactly what you should do if you are denied for disability.

At each level of appeal, a claimant has a better chance of winning benefits than he would if he either gave up entirely or skipped the appeals process in favor of filing the same claim again with DDS. At hearings, claimants who have been previously denied at the application and reconsideration appeal levels tend to have up to a sixty percent of being awarded benefits, particularly when representation is involved and when a well-reasoned and well-documented case is presented before a judge.

Note: The reconsideration appeal is currently suspended in the state of New York as New York is one of 10 prototype states testing the removal of this appeal step. Reconsideration may be reinstated at some point. However, at this time, a denied claimant should request, and prepare, for a disability hearing to be conducted in front of a federal administrative law judge.

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?

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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

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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

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New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

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Related pages:

Will a Social Security Judge give You an Immediate Decision at the Disability Hearing?
Basic Facts about the Administrative Law Judge Social Security Disability Hearing
Are the Chances of Winning Disability Benefits Higher at a Social Security Hearing with a Judge?
Winning at a Social Security Disability Hearing
Social Security Disability Hearings - what to expect
What happens when you go to a Social Security Disability hearing?
How do I request a Social Security Disability hearing - How do I file?
Requesting a Social Security Hearing when you have a Disability Representative or Attorney
How long does a request for a disability hearing appeal take?
What are the odds of a judge giving you a disability denial?
What is a Social Security administrative law judge disability hearing?
What is the time frame for a judge to make a decision for a disability hearing?
How should I prepare for a disability hearing with Social Security?
What are the questions that get asked at a Social Security Disability or SSI hearing?

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.