Are you automatically denied for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois when you first apply?

I've probably heard a hundred variations of this granule of commonly accepted wisdom regarding Social Security Disability and SSI. Generally, the comments go something like this:

"Well, I expected they would deny me since they always do the first time"

"I know they never approve you on your first application, that's why you have to keep filing over and over until you get it"

"Is there a rule where they have to turn you down first before they can approve you?"

Point of fact: there is no SSA rule that dictates that title II (Social Security Disability) or title 16 (SSI, or supplemental security income) disability claims must be denied on the first application, or X number of times before a claim can eventually be approved.

Why has this become folklore? Because so many cases do get denied at the intial application level. According to federal statistics, about 77 percent of all initial claims are denied.

Accentuating this myth, certainly, is the fact that claimants who filed their first appeal (called a reconsideration) were denied at even higher rates (yes, denial rates on first appeals are generally higher across the country).

Nonetheless, it is not standard operational procedure for disability claims to be turned down at the initial application level, or at any level. It is simply a depressing reality of the SSA disability system.

The thing to keep in mind is this: if you are filing in Illinois, you stand, on average, about a 30 percent chance of being approved on your initial claim. If you are denied on your initial claim, you should definitely file an appeal. Your first appeal, however, will stand an 80-85 percent chance of being denied. But, if your pursue your claim to the point where you can have your case presented to an administrative law judge at a disability hearing, you will a much better chance of being approved for benefits.

1. Without representation, you will have a better than 40% chance of being approved.

2. With attorney or non attorney representation, you will have a better than 60% chance of being approved.

So, if your claim is denied, it does not mean that your claim is without merit and it does not mean that you will never receive disability benefits. What it will mean, though, is that you will be more likely to win your claim if you follow the appeals process and, at some point, obtain qualified representation.

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.

Most popular topics on

Social Security Disability in North Carolina

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI

Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

Filing for disability in Illinois

Applying for disability in Illinois

How do you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

Filing for disability in Illinois, when to file

After you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

Are you automatically denied for SSDI or SSI in Illinois when you first apply?

Filing Illinois request for reconsideration after denied

Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Illinois?

Options after Social Security Disability is Denied in Illinois

Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Illinois

Do you need a lawyer for a Disability Claim in Illinois?

Disability attorneys, lawyers in Illinois

Choosing a Disability Attorney in Illinois

What will an Illinois disability attorney do?

Will hiring a disability attorney in Illinois get me a disability award?

Social Security Disability Representatives and help in Illinois

Social Security Claims and Disability Lawyers in Illinois

Illinois disability appeals

Filing a disability appeal in Illinois

Which disability appeal to file in Illinois

How many disability appeals do you get in Illinois?

Getting a Disability Appeal on time in Illinois

Eligibility, approvals, and qualifications in Illinois

How to Qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

Can a Specific Medical Problem get you Approved for Disability in Illinois?

Eligibility and Qualifications for Disability in Illinois

Can you get disability approved in Illinois at the reconsideration level?

Miscellaneous questions about SSD SSI in Illinois

Can you get disability in Illinois on your first try?

How many Social Security Disability and SSI cases get denied in Illinois?

Disability denial in Illinois, when to get a lawyer

Social Security Disability Waiting period in Illinois

Will I lose my SSDI SSI disability benefits in Illinois when my case is reviewed?

Illinois disability hearings

How to Prepare for a Disability Hearing in Illinois

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

Illinois disability attorney representation after being denied

Illinois mental disability

Approved for disability in Illinois with a mental condition

Mental testing for an SSDI or SSI disability claim in Illinois

Filing for Disability with depression in Illinois

Illinois disability decisions

Who makes the SSD or SSI decision in Illinois

How long does it take to get a disability decision in Illinois?

What is the Social Security Disability decision making process in Illinois?

Illinois disability, working and work credits

Work credits in Illinois to be covered for Social Security Disability

How to get your disability status in Illinois

If you get and receive disability benefits in Illinois, can you work?

Can you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois if you are working?

Illinois disability denials

Why is Social Security Disability and SSI Denied in Illinois?

Denied on a Disability Reconsideration in Illinois

Illinois Disability Claim was Denied, Should I Reapply?

Denied the second time for Social Security Disability in Illinois