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

What do I do to file a disability appeal in New York?

The majority of applicants who file claims for Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI in New York will not be approved for benefits when they first apply. In fact, only 30 percent of all initial applications are approved by the NY disability determination services (DDS) agency, which means 70 percent of disability applicants will at some point be required to file an appeal, or request for reconsideration, with DDS.

Request for reconsideration appeals must be filed within 60 days from the date printed on the initial denial of the claim (note: not 60 days from when you received the claim in the mail). Therefore, after you have been denied for disability benefits, you should immediately contact the social security office and inform them of your intention to appeal the disability examiner’s decision in your case. At that point social security will note that you have made a timely request (within the 60-day deadline), and send paperwork for you to fill out in order to initiate the appeals process.

The forms associated with reconsideration appeals are not lengthy or complicated, but some claimants may wish to retain a disability lawyer at this point. Only 15 percent of disability appeals with DDS are successful, so there is a good chance that your case will be one of the many that must be heard before an administrative judge before it is approved (if it is approved). And if, as is likely, your appeal is denied and must be heard before a disability judge, your chances of winning benefits are significantly greater if you have a lawyer present your case.

A disability attorney, or a non-attorney disability representative, in New York can file your appeal paperwork for you, including documentation of any new medical evidence that may help corroborate the disabling nature of your condition.

If you have had a disability lawyer involved in your case from the beginning, he or she will most likely receive notice that your claim has been denied, and automatically file an appeal for you with social security, but you should always check to make sure your lawyer has been updated.

A reconsideration appeal is almost always worthwhile, even if only to advance your case to the level at which it stands its best chance of approval: the administrative hearing. Most disability applicants will end up filing one at some point. In fact, so many initial claims are denied that many believe the common misconception that there is an unspoken rule within the social security administration that no disability claims can be approved the first time they are filed.

While there is no rule in place, spoken or unspoken, that states a disability claim cannot be approved fairly quickly after the initial application, enough individuals filing for SSD or SSI benefits are denied that claimants would be wise to prepare for the possibility of appeals, beginning with the request for reconsideration process.

Of course, when filing appeals, claimants in New York should be especially careful to comply with the deadline for filing an appeal. If applicants miss the deadline for filing an appeal, they will have no choice but to start the entire disability application process over again with a new claim, and unnecessarily delay the final decision in their claim.

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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.