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
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
As a former disability examiner who has worked on Social Security Disability and SSI cases, and as someone who has been involved in the representation of disability claimants, I have been able to take notice of the mistakes many claimants make after they receive a denial notification from the social security administration (SSA). Here is a short list of three common mistakes on claims.
1. Some claimants do not pursue their claim by filing an appeal after their case has been denied. In effect, they accept their denial notice as the final word on their claim. This is nearly always a mistake.
Why? Because, statistically speaking, pursuing the claim through the appeals process will stand a fairly high chance of eventually being approved. Filing the first appeal will get the case processed as a request for reconsideration. Reconsiderations are almost always denied...however, after a claim is denied at the reconsideration level, a claimant will be allowed to file a request for a disability hearing.
Assuming that the case has received proper preparation at this level, and that the claimant has chosen a good disability representative (the representative can be a disability lawyer or a non-attorney representative) to appear before the administrative law judge, the chances of winning will be good.
This fact is consistently borne out by federal statistics which indicate that, nationally, more than sixty percent of all represented claimants will be awarded disability benefits following a hearing.
2. Some claimants choose to file a new claim instead of filing an appeal. This happens fairly frequently and the result is fairly predictable. The case simply gets denied again on the new claim. For the outcome to be any different, of course, would not even be logical, though, since a new claim will be handled by the same agency (DDS, or disability determination services) that made the decision on the first claim.
Why do some claimants continue to a new claim instead of submitting an appeal? Or even file new claims over and over instead of utilizing their appeal rights? In some cases, it may be due to confusion on the claimant's part. In the past, of course, this was understandable. The Social Security Administration has been forced, on more than one occasion, to change the wording of its denial notices since they mistakenly gave claimants the impression they should file a new application instead of appealing.
Filing new disability applications over and over, of course, is not a good strategy. By contrast, those who file appeals will eventually get their case decided by a federal judge and the odds of being approved (as was stated earlier) will be substantially higher.
Why are the odds better at a hearing? There are several reasons. The first is that adminstrative law judges give more credence to the opinion of a claimant's doctor, or treating physician.
Secondly, since the hearing is the only step in which the decision-maker meets the claimant, it may be easier for the judge to be subjectively influenced by the claimant's symptoms, appearance, and testimony.
Thirdly, the attention paid to both a claimant's exertional and nonexertional limitations is more detailed, as is the attention paid to the claimant's prospects--or lack of prospects--for being able to switch to other types of work. Finally, a fourth reason is that, at a hearing, a compelling theory of the case and argument for approval can be advanced by the claimant and/or their disability representative.
3. Some claimants intend to appeal, but miss the appeal deadline. This also happens frequently. Why? In some cases, it may be that the claimant is unsure of what to do next as a result of anxiety or depression following the denial of their initial claim. In other cases, however, it may be that the claimant is seeking to have a disability attorney file their appeal for them and the fact that they have not located an attorney yet is holding up the filing of their appeal paperwork.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with having one's representative file the appeal. That is, after all, part of the representative's job. But unrepresented claimants who are having difficulty finding representation should probably get their appeal sent in as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline. Missing an appeal deadline will result in having to start over with a new claim and will amount to a considerable loss of time, sometimes amounting to months.
What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?
Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?
How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved
What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Receiving a Disability Award Letter
Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
Applying for disability in your state
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
The listings, list of disabling impairments
Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?
Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials
How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?
How to apply for disability for a child or children
Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application
Filing for disability - when to file
How to apply for disability - where to apply
Qualifications for disability benefits
How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits
Qualifying for Disability - The Process
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?
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions
Social Security Disability SSI definitions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
New and featured pages on SSDRC.com
Who can help me file for disability?
How to Appeal a disability claim denial from Social Security
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
What is a Social Security Disability Denial based on?
Are there ways to avoid being denied for SSI or Social Security Disability?
What does a Disability Denial Letter from Social Security say?
Reconsideration of a Social Security Disability denial- what does it involve?
What to do if you receive notification of a Social Security Disability or SSI claim denial
If you receive a Social Security Disability Denial quickly does that mean the case is weak?
What happens if my SSI or Social Security Disability Application is denied?
Social Security Disability Denied — The Reasons Why (medical denials)
With 100 percent Veterans Benefits, are you still eligible for disability?
How hard is it to qualify for disability?
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
Permanent Social Security Disability
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
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?
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.