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

Does Social Security turn down every disability case the first time?

The answer to this question is no. The social security administration does not turn down every case the first time, though this is a commonly held assumption that you tend to read in many forums and which has grown into something of a myth.

In actuality, there is no set number of times that a social security disability or SSI claim has to be denied for an allowance (i.e. an approval) to be granted, nor is every disability claim automatically turned down the first time. Some individuals have medical conditions that immediately meet the medical disability criteria for something known as a disability listing (in the social security administration's list of impairments, often referred to as the blue book).

In these cases, the medical evidence that has been gathered for a claimant's case is particularly strong and allows the disability examiner working on the case to quickly determine that their accumulated evidence satisfies the listing--such as the listing for bipolar disorder--referred to by SSA as bipolar syndrome--or one of the musculoskeletal listings, such as disorders of the spine.

In most other cases, the combination of medical evidence and work history information will point to medical, vocational, education, and age factors sufficient enough to establish that the claimant's condition prevents them from returning to work activity. And this conclusion would result in an approval on an initial claim.

Actually, the statistical data for many years suggests that about thirty percent of all initial claims are allowed (i.e. approved for disability benefits) on a national average. This flies in the face of the assumption that social security turns down all cases on the first disability application.

It does mean, however, that seventy percent of all applications for disability are denied. Meaning that the majority of individuals who are seeking to receive social security disability or SSI disability benefits will probably have to appeal their denial and, possibly, obtain representation from a disability attorney.

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

Related pages:

If I Get Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability, What Do I Do?
What Are The Reasons For Social Security Disability Cases Being Denied?
What happens if you get denied for social security disability three times?
Why Will A Social Security Disability Application Get Denied?
How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?
Can You Avoid Being Denied on a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim?
What happens if a reconsideration for Social Security Disability or SSI is denied?
What should be done if your disability is denied?
How do you appeal if you are denied for Social Security disability or SSI?
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Turned down at my disability hearing: should I appeal or refile?

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
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