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Odds of disability approval in Illinois are better at a hearing vs reconsideration



 
Statistically, it is a sobering fact that if your claim for Social Security Disability or SSI was denied at the disability application level (also known as the initial claim level), it will probably be denied at the reconsideration level.

In fact, national statistics indicate that about 85 percent of all reconsideration appeals are denied.

Why is this the case? It's a good question, particularly when it is true that claimants who appear at a disability hearing, and are represented by a disability lawyer, have about a sixty percent chance of being approved for benefits---this, despite the fact that they were previously denied at the first two levels of the system.

Obviously, there is a disconnect between the reconsideration appeal in Illinois and the disability hearing appeal. And that disconnect probably has a lot to do with this fact: administrative law judges who conduct disability hearings are removed from the DDS system.

For those who aren't aware, DDS stands for disability determination services.

DDS is the state level agency that decides SSDI (Social Security Disability insurance) and SSI (supplemental security income) claims for the social security adminisration. It is at DDS that examiners (I used to be one of them) work on disability claims, by gathering, reading, and evaluating medical evidence, consulting with doctors, and then approving or denying claims.

Each state has a DDS, but in some states the agency is known by a different name such bureau of disability determination or disability determination division or disability determination unit. No matter what the agency is called, however, it performs the same functions in every state.

One of those functions is to conduct the first appeal open to disability claimants. This is known as the request for reconsideration. Who works on a reconsideration appeal? Just as with disability applications, examiners work on them. And this is part of the problem. The same agency that delivers the decision on an initial claim also works on making the determination for the claimant's first appeal.

Even a blind man could see this reality: if a large number of cases were approved by DDS at the reconsideration level, then it would essentially equate to the agency admitting the denial that was issued on the disability application was, in fact, a mistake.

The simple fact is, disability reconsiderations are overwhelmingly denied because the same agency is involved on both disability applications and reconsiderations. And, thus, it is not surprising at all that judges, who are not connected to DDS, make significantly more approvals on SSD and SSI cases.

Resources:

1. How long does it take to get a disability hearing scheduled?
2. How long does it take to get a disability hearing?
3. How long does it take to get a decision after a disability hearing?
4. How to get a disability hearing scheduled faster?
5. Getting a faster disability hearing scheduled
6. Can an attorney get you a faster disability hearing?
7. Disability hearing decision timeframe
8. ALJ disability hearing decisions
9. What to expect at a disability hearing
10. What happens when you go to a disability hearing?
11. After a disability hearing, what happens?









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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.