Your Chances With SSDI Disability or SSI On the First Appeal, The Reconsideration

There is nothing easy about pursuing getting SSDI or SSI disability on the first appeal are "not quite" next to nil, but the simple fact is that approximately seventy of claims are denied on the disability application and more than eighty percent of claims are denied on the first appeal (the request for reconsideration appeal, which, like the initial claim, is handled by a disability examiner at disability determination services, the agency that makes disability claim decisions for the social security office).

Over the years, both Social Security and those who represent disability claimants have gone back and forth on the usefulness of the first appeal, or ,more properly, the reconsideration appeal. Reconsideration appeals are basically an update of a person's medical and work information from the initial disability claim.

Reconsideration appeals are sent to the same state disability agency (DDS) that denied the initial disability claim. Which, of course, means there is little chance of a disability allowance unless the initial disability examiner made a mistake or there is some new medical information that would now allow for a finding of disability.

Usually, disability examiners make correct medical determinations according to the disability guidelines of Social Security so very few initial disability claim denials overturned at the reconsideration appeal. Most reconsideration appeal disability approvals are the result of a change in the disability claimant's medical condition.

The chances of winning disability are actually better at the initial disability claim level than the reconsideration or first appeal level. About thirty-five percent of all initial disability claims result in an approval for disability benefits, while only about ten to fifteen percent of reconsideration appeals result in an approval for benefits.

Unfortunately, most disability claimants have to consider the reconsideration appeal as a necessary step toward a disability hearing. If a person can struggle through the initial disability claim and reconsideration appeal denial, they will have their best chance of being approved for disability at the second appeal level or the administrative law judge hearing. About two thirds of all disability claimant who attend their disability hearing are approved for SSDI or SSI disability benefits.

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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