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How to file Appeals

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Filing for your Disability

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SSDRC Disability Blog

How many Social Security Disability and SSI claimants do not file an appeal?

It's fairly common knowledge that a significant percentage of social security disability and SSI disability claimants do not file an appeal following a denial. In my former capacity as a disability examiner this was often verified by how many "uniques" an individual had (a cumulative number showing the number of new claims filed); in other words, how many times a person had opted not to appeal but rather to file a brand new disability application. However, I probably shouldn't say "opted" because, though it may sound strange, too many claimants are not aware of the fact that they can appeal.

Related: Filing a disability appeal is always to your advantage

Working in claimant representation, of course, only added verification to what I had learned as an examiner: an extraordinary number of claimants who were denied seemed to: 1) forego pursuing their claim any further, 2) submitted appeals but too late for them to be accepted by SSA, or 3) made the incorrect assumption that appeals and new applications were one and the same.

So, how many individuals who file for disability and get denied choose not to appeal (the word "choose" is used loosely since, as was mentioned, a number of claimants are simply not aware of their appeal rights)? According to the lead attorney for one of the nation's largest representation firms, it may be as much as two-thirds. Which, to me, is both astounding and yet not unexpected.

Who's to blame for this, assuming blame is even appropriate? Well, I doubt that you can blame disability claimants themselves. Applying for social security disability or ssi is an inherently depressing and gut-wrenching experience and, ultimately, what claimants know about the system tends to be based on what social security administration employees have told them.

In my own opinion, the failure of so many disability claimants to file the appeals to which they are entitled is a failure of the social security administration to properly inform claimants of their rights.

It's been joked about more than once that if every disability claimant who was denied filed the appeal they were entitled to, the social security disability and ssi system would grind to a halt. And more cynical minds have been of the opinion that the federal government counts on this to S-A-V-E M-O-N-EY.

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

Related pages:

How to file for disability in Indiana
Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability, What Do I Do?
Personality Disorder and Filing for Disability
Filing an SSI appeal
Social Security disability advocates
Application tip for filing for Social Security disability or SSI
How to file for disability in Mississippi
Expectations for your disability lawyer
Disability lawyers with high success rates
Can I earn more and get Social Security Disability?
Filing for disability with TBI, traumatic brain injury
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
Forms to appeal a Social Security Disability denial
Forms to complete when filing, applying for disability
Eligibility for disability and who qualifies

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

Disability lawyer fee - what does an attorney cost?
Social Security Disability appeal status
The status of your social security disability or SSI case
Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI tips
Maximum SSDI SSI Disability back pay
SSI disability back pay
How Far Back Will Social Security Pay Benefits?
What if the SSDI Disability application gets denied?
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions
When You File an SSI or Social Security Disability Application
After you file and apply for disability
Applying for disability, the application process
Tips for how to get approved for SSDI or SSI
Social Security Disability SSDI SSI Tips
Proving Social Security Disability for a mental condition
SSDI SSI Eligibility Requirements and Criteria
Qualifying for disability benefits (SSDI or SSI)
How does a person qualify for SSDI or SSI disability, how are they eligible?