If I file a Disability Appeal, what is my chance of winning?

Over 2 million individuals file for Social Security Disability and/or Supplemental Security Income disability each year.

Social Security approves about thirty-five percent of those disability claims at the initial disability claim level and that means that about sixty-five percent of all individuals who file for disability each year will have to use the Social Security appeal process if they hope to win their disability benefits.

If an individual decides to pursue their disability claim, their first appeal level will be a request for reconsideration appeal. This appeal is basically an update of the information provided at the initial disability application.

Reconsideration appeals are sent to the same state disability agency as initial disability claims. Each Reconsideration is reviewed by a different disability examiner than the one who made the initial disability determination. However, reconsideration appeal determinations are made using the same rules and guidelines that governed the initial disability claim decision.

This fact is evidenced by the low percentage of reconsideration appeals that become disability approvals. Current statistics indicate that only about fifteen percent of all reconsideration appeals result in disability benefits being awarded.

Since there are so few disability approvals at the reconsideration level, Social Security has considered doing away with the reconsideration appeal completely. In fact, there are ten states that currently do not use reconsideration appeals.

The point of this discussion about reconsideration appeal denial rates is to show disability applicants that they are likely to be denied at the initial and reconsideration appeals levels, consequently it is easy to become discouraged. The majorith of claimants have to pursue their disability claim to an administrative law judge disability hearing for the best chance of being approved for disability benefits. However, this cannot be done without following the appeal process.

In recent times, of all of the initial applicants who filed each year, only about 500,000 will have pursued the disability claim to a Social Security Disability hearing. This is unfortunate; because about sixty six percent of all disability applicants who attend their administrative law judge hearing win their 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.

Most popular topics on

Social Security Disability in North Carolina

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI

Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

Related pages:

Going to a disability hearing without a lawyer
How is Social Security Disability determined?
Medical treatment and a Social Security Disability award
Social Security Attorneys and Disability Representatives
Disability lawyers - basic questions for Social Security help
Social Security Disability benefits for stroke
How to file for disability in New Jersey NJ
Filing for disability with HIV
Filing for retroactive disability benefits
Can I qualify for SSI benefits due to having angina?
Social Security Disability Approval and Denial Rates
Basic Facts about the Administrative Law Judge Social Security Disability Hearing
If your disability claim is approved or denied
Social Security Award letter for SSD, SSI
How Much Income Can you Earn If you draw Social Security Disability?