Social Security Disability Denial in Florida

Unfortunately, denials are just a part of the disability applications are approved, while first appeals, i.e. requests for reconsideration, are approved only 9 percent of the time.These statistics make it seem impossible to be approved for disability benefits.

Individuals, however, who follow the Social Security Disability appeal process are much more likely to receive disability benefits than those who file endless initial disability claims (meaning those who continually file brand new claims instead of utilizing their appeal rights). So, how does the appeal process work?

If an individual receives a denial of a disability claim, they have sixty days to appeal that denial. Actually, they have sixty-five days from the date of the denial notice to file their reconsideration appeal. Reconsideration appeals are often denied because they are basically just a review of the initial disability claim decision.

Of course, a different disability examiner makes the reconsideration appeal decision, but the guidelines used to deny the initial disability claim are the same and the same state disability-processing agency will be making the decision. And it is reasonable to assume that it is highly unlikely that another disability examiner is going to come to a different decision.

Unless, of course, there is new medical evidence to suggest that an individual is disabled, or that the disability examiner who made the initial disability decision made an error. Both of these situations are rare which might explain the dismal approval rate of the reconsideration appeal level.

The best way to look at a reconsideration appeal is that, if denied, the disability applicant is one step closer to the most winning level of the disability process, which is an ALJ hearing. After the reconsideration appeal, an individual can request a disability hearing with an administrative law judge, or ALJ.

The national average for approvals at the disability hearing level is about sixty-six percent. Consequently, individuals who appeal their initial disability claim denial through to the level of the administrative law judge disability hearing are much more likely to be approved for disability along the way than those who file multiple initial disability claims.

So does it matter if an individual gets denied at their reconsideration? Of course, it is never great to be denied for disability and it causes most disability applicants to have a lot of emotional duress.

However, if an individual sticks with it and files a hearing appeal after a denial of a reconsideration, they are likely to be approved for disability benefits, provided that their case is well documented and properly presented to the judge at the hearing.

Sometimes, in fact, that is the only positive thing about a reconsideration appeal (because you can only request a hearing after your first appeal, the reconsideration, has been denied).

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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