Things to consider when appealing a Denied Disability Claim in California

Without a doubt, appealing a denied Social Security Disability or SSI claim is greatly preferred to A. giving up on the claim (and many people do) or B. giving up your appeal rights by filling out a brand new disability application. Here's a short checklist of what to do if your disability claim is denied by the social security adminisration.

What are your chances of success if you are appealing a denied disability claim in California? At the first appeal level (known as a reconsideration or review), the odds of being denied again are actually higher than at the initial claim (basic application) level.

Statistically, on average, more than 80 percent of first appeals are denied. At the second appeal level (the disability hearing level), however, the odds turn substantially in favor of the claimant. At a disability hearing, a claimant who has previously been denied and is represented by a disability attorney or non-attorney representative will stand about a sixty percent chance of winning Social Security Disability or SSI benefits.


1. What if my Disability Application is denied?
2. If you get denied on a disability application do you have to file a new application?
3. What Happens When You File A Second Social Security Disability Claim?
4. What is a Social Security Disability Denial based on?

Note: the following applies to individuals who elect to file paper disability appeals versus filing a disability appeal online, or having an appointed disability disability representative or disability attorney complete and submit an appeal of an SSD or SSI claim denial

1. Immediately contact the social security office where you filed your claim and request an appeal. Do not wait for several days or even weeks to make this request. Even though the social security administration allows you 60 days in which to submit an appeal, you should request your appeal immediately to avoid unnecessary delays on your case.

2. Upon receipt of the appeal forms from social security, immediately complete this paperwork. Be sure to provide updated information regarding your most recent medical treatment, particularly if you have been given a new medical diagnosis or have been treated by a new medical provider.

3. Make copies of the forms you have completed and then mail your appeal paperwork to social security.

4. Several days after mailing your appeal paperwork to the social security administration, make a followup call to ensure that your forms were actually received. If you are told that the forms have not been received, you may wish to wait several more days and then make a second call. If, by the second call, your appeal forms have not been received, you should consider mailing in the copies that you made (in this event, however, you may find it wise to make additional copies).

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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