How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Options after Social Security Disability is Denied in Illinois

If your Social Security Disability claim has been denied in the state of Illinois, you have three options. You can appeal your disability claim denial, file a new disability claim, or chose not to pursue your disability claim.

If you are still unable to work because of your disabling condition, there is no reason not to pursue disability. So you really have two choices--file an appeal or file a new disability claim. In my experience as a disability examiner, there is no reason to file a new claim if you are able to appeal your initial disability claim denial.

Statistically, you stand a better chance of being approved for disability benefits sooner if you use the Social Security Disability appeal process in Illinois rather than beginning again with a new disability claim. Brand new claims are practically guaranteed to be denied as was the case with the first claim.

And this is logical: if your disability claim decision was considered to be correct according to Social Security guidelines, a new and second disability claim would receive the same decision and you would be no closer to being approved for disability benefits.

The best option you have after your disability claim denial will almost always be an appeal. The only instances in which filing an appeal would be impractical would be when the initial claim denial happened as a result of a non-medical issue, such as the claimant being engaged in work activity, or having too much in assets. In such cases, there is no point in filing an appeal.

Resources a.k.a. assets, however, are only a consideration under the title 16 SSI program; under SSD, or Social Security Disability, an individual's assets will not prevent them from being eligible for disability benefit since SSD is based solely on insured status (basically, you are eligible for consideration if you worked long enough to become insured for benefits).

The first appeal - The request for reconsideration

Unfortunately, the first level of the appeal process in Illinois offers less of a chance for an approval than your initial disability claim. However, it is a necessary step to getting to what is your best chance of being approved for disability benefits.

What do we mean by this? If you are not approved at the reconsideration appeal (only 10 – 15 percent are approved), your next appeal is a disability hearing appeal. Administrative law judge disability hearings offer the best chance of an approval for disability benefits. In fact, about sixty-five percent of all disability hearings result in an approval.

Filing appeals in Illinois

If you choose to appeal the denial of your disability claim, you can file your appeal online or through your local office. You are allowed a sixty-five day appeal period that begins with the date of your denial notice (sixty days "official days" plus the extra five they give you for the mailing of your decision letter) to get your appeal to Social Security.

If you have a disability lawyer or representative handling your case, they will make sure all of your appeals are filed timely. If you are handling your own appeal, make sure you file it timely; if your appeal is not filed on time you may have to begin the disability process again.

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For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.