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
An SSI disability appeal is better than a new claim
The point of this post is to illustrate a few insights as to why it is better to follow the Social Security Disability appeals process, versus starting over with a new disability application. And to do that, let me relate a recent experience.
I was speaking to someone the other day who, like me, is a former disability examiner for Social Security Disability and SSI claims. The question that came up was: "What's the biggest unique you ever saw on a new file?"
Ok, I better explain what I mean by this. Unique numbers refer to how many times a disability claimant has filed for Social Security Disability or SSI disability. My answer was 22. My friend had actually seen one as high as 25.
Now, what does all of this mean? Well, here it is: When a person files a claim for SSD or SSI and gets denied, they have three choices: 1. give up completely (and many people do), 2. file an appeal and follow the appeals process, and 3. start over with a brand new application for Social Security Disability or SSI.
If a person decides to start over with a new claim (usually, this is a terrible choice), then you add one to their total unique number. So, for the person whose unique number was 22, this meant that they had filed close to two dozen times.
What's wrong with this? Well, it's not really productive. A person who chooses not to file a Social Security Disability appeal and instead chooses to begin a new claim will, typically, be denied again. And if they keep starting new claims versus filing an appeal...they will, most likely, be denied over and over and over (get the point?) again.
The reason why a Social Security Disability or SSI claimant should nearly always (I say "nearly always" because there are a limited number of situations in which a new application is the best route, but this is a very limited number of situations) file an appeal is this: ultimately, you want your disability claim to be reviewed at a disability hearing, held by an administrative law judge who specializes in adjudicating Social Security Disability and SSI claims.
But...the only way to get to such a hearing is by requesting an appeal after a disability application has been denied.
And, of course, after that first appeal (known as a reconsideration or review) has been denied, a claimant may request their second appeal, the appeal that actually leads to a hearing in front of a judge.
How long does the appeal process take? Assuming that a claimant does not get approved on their first appeal (the reconsideration or review), and has to appear at a hearing, the appeal process can easily take over 2 years. And, certainly, this sounds impossibly long, both from a medical and financial standpoint.
However, enduring the appeal process is preferable by far to never being approved for disability benefits and I would gather to say that the person who had filed 22 times had probably put several years into the process...with nothing to show for it.
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?
If you get denied, do you file a new disability application?
Winning a Social Security Disability Appeal or SSI Appeal
Doing a disability appeal
If you appeal a disability denial, how long does it take for a decision?
How long does it take to go before a disability judge?
How long does it take to be approved and awarded disability benefits?
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
The list of differences between Social Security Disability and SSI
Getting disability approved on a reconsideration with an attorney
Can you speed up a disability claim?
Should I get a lawyer if I have already filed for disability?
If you apply for disability in Texas
Disability requirements in Texas
Qualifying For Disability in Texas
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Do I need an attorney to win disability?
How Long Does It Take To Go Before A Judge For Disability?
Will a Judge give you an Immediate Decision at the Disability Hearing?
What happens when you go to a disability hearing?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical conditions
Social Security Disability lawyer fee
Can a lawyer or attorney speed up my disability case?
When can I expect my first disability check and my back pay check?
Going to a medical exam for Social Security Disability or SSI
Filing for disability - How to file the disability application
Do you need a lawyer to file for disability?
How Far Back Can SSI Back Pay Be Paid?
Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
The Social Security Disability Award Letter
Social Security Disability SSI Eligibility Requirements
How long will it take to get a disability decision letter?
Social Security Disability and SSI Medical Exams
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security Disability?
How Long to get a Disability Hearing decision?
How long to get disability benefits after you receive an award notice?
Social Security Disability and Working
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
How Much Income Can A Person Earn If He Draws Social Security Disability?
Partial disability benefits from Social Security
Can I Qualify For Disability for Depression?
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.