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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 81%).

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).

  • Index of Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

  • 56 Answers to Social Security Disability SSI Questions

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability and SSI Back Pay Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    How long does it take for Social Security Disability or SSI?

    Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices

    Tips, Mistakes, How to Qualify, and How to Win Disability

    Tips and Advice for Social Security Disability and SSI Claims

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify for Disability Benefits

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI, How to Win

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Social Security Disability and SSI Appeal Process - How to file appeals

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    SSI Disability Benefits, Questions and Answers

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Information to start with regarding Disability Claims

    An Overview of Social Security Disability and SSI

    What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

    The Disability Requirements to be eligible for SSD and SSI Benefits

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability and SSI Applications

    Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions and Impairments

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    The SSDRC Disability Blog

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Getting disability in North Carolina

    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