Are you likely to get disability on your first or second try in Illinois?

Actually, this is not a good question due to its wording. However, I will address the question simply because this is often how it is asked. And I will address it in two ways.

If, by "first or second try", a person means the first or second application for Social Security Disability or SSI, then the answer is this: you probably stand an equal chance of getting approved or denied on either one. In other words, if you file for disability in Illinois and get turned down and then file a brand new disability application, nothing really changes. You're simply going through the exact same process all over again.

This is exactly why I tell people to avoid starting over with brand new disability applications. Instead, I tell them to file disability appeals. That is, if your disability claim is denied at the application level, you should file a request for a reconsideration. And if this disability appeal is denied, you should then file a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Now, lets answer the question the second way. If by "first or second try", a person means a disability application (the first try) and a reconsideration (the second try), then the unfortunate answer is this: you probably stand a better chance of being approved for disability on the application. Why? Because claims that are adjudicated at the first appeal step in the process (the reconsideration or review) are overwhelmingly denied in most states.

However, to reiterate, if you get denied on this first appeal, you should not give up on your Social Security Disability or SSI case. Instead, you should file for a disability hearing. The wait will, most likely, be very long for a hearing, but claimants who have been previously denied tend to stand a much greater chance of being approved at this level of the appeal process.

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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