I appealed my denial, what should I expect?

"I have a current appeal being filed.. after receiving children benefits till high school... I was denied as a adult because at 18 I was working full time... now and for some time now I don't and cant work full time... the local soc security office mailed me a notice asking me to call them....the person said I don't make enough to show substantial gains and recommended I apply for SSDI.... after 4 months they denied me saying I cant show I was disabled prior to 22 yrs old.. when in fact I was disabled at birth with cerebral palsy and drop foot syndrome.....I'm wondering what should I expect with my appeal....Thanks"

The denial you received on your disabled adult child disability claim is based upon the fact that they did not find you disabled, rather than as a definitive statement as to your cerebral palsy.

They are simply saying they did not find the limitations caused by your cerebral palsy and drop foot to be severe enough to prevent substantial work activity (FYI regarding Substantial gainful activity or SGA: Social Security has a gross monthly earnings amount that they consider to be SGA, and if you are working and earning over that amount your disability claim is denied).

Once your earnings dropped below the monthly SGA amount, you were able to file for disability. However, like everyone else who files for disability, your disability claim went through the medical determination process. In your case it was determined that you were not disabled by Social Security guidelines.

This is nothing unusual. About sixty to sixty-five percent of all initial disability claims are denied no matter what disabling condition the individual has. I don't want this to sound too depressing, but there is a good chance that your reconsideration appeal will most likely be denied as well (only about 15 percent of initial disability claims are overturned at this appeal level).

But in my opinion, getting denied at the reconsideration appeal level often has little to do with the soundness of your claim. It's simply been a fact for many years that getting approved at that level of the system is against the odds, most likely because the same agency (disability determination services) that handles the initial disability application also handles the reconsideration appeal.

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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