Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

What happens if a reconsideration for Social Security Disability or SSI is denied?

If your reconsideration appeal has been denied, and you are still disabled and unable to go back to work, you need to contact Social Security to appeal your denial. You have sixty-five days from the date of your denial notice (the date is usually stamped in the upper right hand corner of the notice of denial) to file a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Late appeals and good cause

At this point, you must be especially careful to file your appeal "timely" as administrative law judges are not very flexible with regard to appeals that, for whatever reason, are not filed on time. If you are late in filing your hearing request, you should send evidence that supports the reason you were late filing your appeal. In some instances, a late appeal can be accepted under good cause. If you do not have a good reason for filing late, of course, your hearing request is likely to be dismissed by the administrative law judge after they receive your case.

Submitting the disability hearing request

As with the request for reconsideration, the hearing request is submitted to the Social Security office where your claim was initiated. After the request is processed, your file is transferred to the hearing office, officially known as ODAR, the office of disability adjudication and review.

However, after your disability hearing request has been submitted, you should not be surprised if you do not hear anything for a few months. Due to an increase in disability hearing requests, you are likely to wait anywhere from five months to fifteen months to get a hearing scheduled.

While the wait may seem never-ending, the administrative law judge hearing offers you the best chance of being approved for SSI or approved for Social Security disability benefits. While statistics vary from state to state, the national average approval rate for disability hearings fluctuates between sixty and sixty-five percent, thus making it the most favorable level of the Social Security disability process at which a claimant can hope to win disability benefits.

The disability hearing and what happens

When you get to the hearing office, you will be taken to a conference room for your disability hearing. Social Security disability hearings are not open to the public, so there are very few people in attendance. Generally, the judge, you, your disability representative, and a court reporter are in the conference room. However, there may be medical and/or vocational experts in the room as well.

The judge will most likely ask you questions about your disabling condition and how it limits your ability to perform routine daily activities including work activity. The important thing to remember is to answer the questions honestly and thoroughly; but remember that the judge probably has a busy schedule of hearings for the day. Some ALJs schedule hearings every half hour. Some even schedule hearings every ten minutes apart. Obviously, disability hearings tend to be somewhat brief.

The judge may also ask your representative questions or your representative may be asked to present specific medical evidence that supports an approval for disability, or they may have to present your disability case.

If you did not obtain the services of a Social Security representative for your reconsideration appeal, you should consider obtaining representation for your disability hearing. Although administrative law judge disability hearings are less formal than ordinary hearings, they still involve a judge, rules, and guidelines. Social Security representatives, being familiar with the Social Security disability guidelines and vocational rules that are used to direct decisions on cases, can help to maximize a claimant's chances of winning benefits.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    What Happens if a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim gets Denied on a Reconsideration Appeal?
    The Disability reconsideration Appeal - what is it and how do you file for it?
    What happens if a reconsideration for Social Security Disability or SSI is denied?
    Does The Social Security Reconsideration Take as Long As The Disability Application?
    Does The Social Security Disability Reconsideration Have A Time Limit?
    How long does it take to get an answer on a Social Security Reconsideration Appeal?
    Disability Approval Chances at the Social Security Reconsideration and Hearing Levels
    What Can You Do to Make Sure Your Social Security Disability Reconsideration Gets Approved?
    Do Most Social Security Disability Reconsiderations Get Turned Down?
    The difference between an Application for disability and a Social Security Reconsideration?
    If you apply for disability in New Mexico
    Getting a Disability Lawyer in New Mexico

    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