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

If you are denied for disability are you able to win social security or SSI benefits on appeal?

Yes, and it is more often the case that those who file for disability will win their benefits on a Social security appeal versus winning on an initial claim. Only about a third of all applicants will be awarded disability benefits after filing at the initial level. The remaining two-thirds will be denied.

Of those individuals, the ones who file their first available appeal (the request for reconsideration) will have only a minimal chance of being approved (historically, about 13-15 percent of recons are approved).

However, for those who persist and file their second appeal (a request for a social security hearing), the odds of approval will increase substantially.

Typically, more than half of all applicants who appear at a disability hearing will be awarded Social Security Disability or SSI benefits. The rate of approval differs by state, and is also affected by whether or not a person is represented by a disability lawyer, a non-attorney disability representative, or has chosen to represent themselves.

Without a doubt, this is the worst possible option since it can assumed that nearly all applicants will have no idea of how to properly and completely prepare a case to be heard by an administrative law judge, or even how to interpret the information that is in their own file.

The disability hearing, obviously, represents the best opportunity for being approved if one is represented. And this is because an experienced claimant's representative (as we said, an attorney or non-attorney can fill the role) will have familiarity with:

A) How cases are determined, both procedurally and as required by law and regulation;

B) The definition of disability used by the social security administration;

C) How vocational (work related) and medical information is viewed by SSA;

D) The importance of obtaining a medical source statement from a claimant's treating physician.

E) The information that was used to decide the case at the levels prior to the hearing level (the application and the reconsideration).

Having said this, though, it is not impossible to win a disability claim at the reconsideration level. Because the rate of denial on reconsideration appeals (remember that the reconsideration is the first appeal and it is also handled by a disability examiner, albeit a different disability examiner than the one who handled the initial claim) is so high (85-87 percent), many people simply assume that it is nearly impossible to win at that level.

Obviously, simply using an observation of case outcomes, this may seem very true. But cases at this level can be won when an effort is made to provide sufficient medical record documentation to the disability examiner who is working on the case, particularly when a strong effort is made to obtain a statement from the claimant's treating physician that is backed up by that doctor's own history of treatment with the claimant.

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:

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)
Can you get disability benefits while you wait for your hearing to be scheduled?
How many hours can you work if you are receiving Social Security Disability?
Decisions on disability applications, fully and partially favorable
How do you get Social Security Disability?
How much SSI will I get in Colorado?
How long does it take to get disability in Colorado?
How much does disability pay in Colorado?

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.