Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

What are the chances of winning disability benefits through an appeal?

There are no statistics to reveal exactly what the chances of winning disability through an appeal actually are. However, as you appeal your claim through the Social Security disability and SSI process your chance of winning disability benefits may improve.

The first appeal level is a reconsideration appeal. Basically, the reconsideration appeal involves a review of the initial disability determination. The only difference between this level and the disability application is that the reconsideration is sent to a different disability examiner for a decision. All of the same guidelines are used for the decision and there is very little flexibility.

If the first disability examiner made no errors according to Social Security disability guidelines, there is very little chance that the reconsideration appeal will result in winning your disability benefits. In fact, the reconsideration appeal has an approval rate of only ten to fifteen percent.

At this point it is important not be become discouraged. Your reconsideration appeal denial clears the way for an administrative law judge disability hearing appeal. Unlike the reconsideration appeal, the hearing appeal offers you the best chance of winning your disability benefits.

The national disability hearing approval rate is about sixty-five percent, which is very high considering that about ten percent of administrative law judge hearing appeals are dismissed for reasons other than denial.

The reason so many disability applicants win their disability benefits at a hearing is there is more flexibility with regard to the criteria used to establish disability. Administrative law judges are not bound by the same rigid disability determination criteria that disability examiners have to use for their disability determinations.

An administrative law judge can take many other things into consideration when making their decision. And, while they basically adhere to disability guidelines established in the Social Security disability handbook and vocational guidelines, they use their own judgment and interpretation to make their disability determination. Because of this flexibility in their decision making process, many disability applicants win their disability benefits at this appeal level.

There are two other levels of appeal after an administrative law judge disability hearing. If your disability hearing is denied, you can appeal their decision with an Appeal Council Review request.

In the past, you were allowed to file an Appeals Council Review appeal and file a new disability claim at the same time. The reason for this was that most often Appeal Council Reviews do not lead to an approval for disability. However, Social Security has recently changed their regulations making disability applicants chose one or the other. At this juncture, you or your representative will have to determine which of these options offers you the best chance of winning your disability benefits.

Overall, the chances of winning your disability benefits through an appeal are fairly good. The trick to winning disability through an appeal is to make sure you appeal all denials and that you file your appeals timely.

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

Related pages:

The Levels Of The Social Security Disability and SSI Application and Appeal Process
How does the Social Security Disability Appeal Process work?
Is it better to appeal or file a new claim if your disability is denied?
How Long Are You Given To Appeal Your Social Security Disability Denial?
How Long Does a Social Security Disability or SSI Appeal Take?
Will I be approved for disability on my appeal?
What Happens If I Miss My Social Security Disability Appeal Date?
How Do I Find Out How My Disability Appeal Is Going?
Can You Work While You Appeal Your Social Security Disability Decision?
How Long Does It Take To Get SSDI If You Have To Appeal?
If Your Disability Benefits Are Stopped Can You Get Them While You Appeal?
Winning a Social Security Disability Appeal or SSI Appeal
Help filing for disability benefits with Social Security

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 answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria