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

The Next step after being Denied for Disability in Pennsylvania

Individuals who are denied for disability in Pennsylvania should obviously file an appeal with the social security administration. The appeal that is filed will depend on what level the Social Security Disability or SSI claim was at when it was last denied.

For a disability application, the appeal to file will be a reconsideration, a request for reconsideration to be exact. The reconsideration is handled by a second disability examiner at the same state agency (known in most states as DDS, or disability determination services) where the application for disability was decided. And for all intents and purposes, this is the only substantial difference between the two claim levels.

In other words, the process is identical. Why is why, of course, most reconsideration appeals are denied as well (current statistics indicate that, nationwide, about 87 percent of recons are denied).

Additionally, the fact that reconsideration appeals are typically evaluated within just a matter of weeks of the disability application being evaluated almost guarantees a subsequent denial. For the outcome to be different would be no less than disability determination services admitting that they had made a decisional mistake at the earlier level. And this only happens roughly 13 percent of the time.

In cases where the claim has been denied at the reconsideration level, the next appeal to file will be a request for a social security hearing. Filing the hearing request is very similar to filing the reconsideration request.

The primary difference, however, is that instead of the claim being transferred to DDS to be assigned to a new disability examiner, the case is sent to the nearest disability hearing office. Typically, once there, the claim will sit for several months before it is actually assigned to a federal administrative law judge whose staff will begin the workup on the case to get it ready for the hearing.

To address the specific question with which we started, which is "If I am denied for disability from social security, what is the next immediate step to take?", the answer will depend on whether or not the claimant is currently represented.

Claimants who are represented, upon receiving their notice of denial (notice of disapproved claim), should immediately contact their attorney. This is to A) let them know that a denial has been received (sometimes, the attorney does not get their copy first, and sometimes, as well, the attorney does not receive his copy at all) and B) let them know that the claimant has received their copy of the notice. At this point, a represented claimant will not need to do anything since the attorney will file the request for the appeal.

After filing the appeal, the attorney will usually send a copy of the appeal request to the claimant for their own records. Of course, if the claimant has had any recent or new medical treatment, this information should be transmitted to the attorney to better prepare them for the time when medical record updates are gathered for the hearing.

Claimants who are not represented should immediately contact SSA to notify them that the case will be appealed. This can be done online or by calling the SSA toll free line. However, it can also be done by contacting the local social security office. And this can be done by either visiting the social security office or by calling the office.

For most claimants, since the local office will do the intake for the appeal (and will then transfer the appeal to either disability determination services or the hearing office, depending on the level of the claim), it probably makes more sense to contact the local office.

Update: Presently, reconsideration appeals are suspended in the state of Pennsylvania. They may be reinstituted later at some point, and this seems likely. However, for the time being, for individuals who have been denied on a disability application, the first appeal will involve a hearing before an ALJ, or adminstrative law judge.

With nearly a 70 percent rate of denial on initial claims in Pennsylvania, this provides a substantial reason for considering early representation, if for no other reason than to help ensure that the case is developed properly by the time it is heard by a judge.

Essential Questions

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?

Related pages:

Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania?
Applying for disability in Pennsylvania
Getting a disability attorney in Pennsylvania
Social Security Disability Claim Status in Pennsylvania
Filing a Disability Appeal in Pennsylvania
Denied for Disability in Pennsylvania
What does a disability lawyer in Pennsylvania do to help a claim?
Social Security Disability For Back Condition pain in California
How much can you make in California and still apply for disability?
Disability requirements and criteria in California

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.