Overview of Disability

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Disability Requirements

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Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

How many times will you be denied Social Security Disability or SSI before you are approved?

For many years, I've heard this particular piece of anecdotal wisdom being thrown about: "Well, you know, social security has to deny you a few times before they can approve you". And, of course, each time it's been said to me I've felt the need to comment as to how the system actually works.

However, I just read the same thing on a forum so I feel compelled to address the question again: Does the social security administration deny a disability claim a certain number of times before they approve it?

And the answer is (long drumroll)---NO. It is in no way, shape, or form a part of the process that a disability claim must be denied X number of times before it can be approved. In the forum I came across, there was general belief and agreement that three was the magic number; however, it just doesn't work that way.

Having said that, though, I can understand why people might come to such a conclusion of this sort, though. It's no state secret that most disability claims are denied on the application level (on average, about 70 percent). Likewise, it's commonly known that most first appeals are likewise denied (on average, about 85%).

However, no rule for a minimum number of mandatory denials exists. It's simply that the social security disability system is, on its face, arduous and somewhat hostile to individuals who are pursuing disability benefits.

Can you win a disability claim on your first try if you have a very strong case? Yes. Can you lose a disability claim on your first try if you have a very strong case? Yes.

Unfortunately, it's often true that regardless of how strong your claim is, you may be initially denied and denied again on your first appeal. And, of course, it's due to ridiculous outcomes like this that disability representatives are often fairly busy and administrative law judges probably shake their heads in wonder at the truly ponderous decisions being made at DDS (disability determination services, the state agency that renders medical determinations for the social security administration).

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

How do you earn credits for social security disability?
If you purchase a house, does it affect eligibility for disability?
Use a disability lawyer to Help with Medical Records
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Disability requirements and how to file in California
Tips, how to apply for disability
Disability requirements, eligibility, criteria
How long does a request for a disability hearing appeal take?
Social Security Disability hearing decision time
How much does disability pay?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

What Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Disability for a mental condition
Tips for Filing for disability
Financial Help Filing For Disability
Checklist for filing for disability, SSI or SSD
Qualifying for disability benefits, how to qualify for SSD or SSI
Filing a disability application: the steps
Disability award notice, how long it takes to get benefits
How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go?
What makes you eligible to get disability?
How to check my disability claim status?
Can a disability attorney speed up a disability case?
SSI disability Award Letter
How long to get approved for disability?
How to apply for disability benefits
How long does disability back pay take?
What are qualifications for getting disability?
What medical conditions can you file disability for?
Disability Lawyer help questions
Social Security Attorneys, Disability Representatives