How many appeals do you have for a Social Security Disability or SSI in claim Texas?

Note: There are currently ten states in which the Social Security Disability appeal system works differently. In those states, there is no reconsideration appeal process and after a denial has been made on a disability application, the first appeal is the request for a hearing before an ALJ, or administrative law judge. Texas is not one of those states.

In the state of Texas, if a claim has been turned down by a disability examiner at DDS (disability determination services, the agency at which SSD and SSI claims are decided), the next step is to request a reconsideration of the denial. The reconsideration is hardly different from the initial claim and the majority of these appeals are also turned down. However, roughly 16 percent of reconsideration request appeals are approved at this level, which is approximately 1 out of every 6 cases. Therefore, while the odds are against approval on a reconsideration, it is certainly worth filing one.

For most individuals who get denied on a reconsideration appeal in Texas, the primary value of the recon step is to simply get to the point where a hearing may be requested. Approval rates vary between the various Social Security hearings offices (there are two in Dallas, two in Houston, one in Fort Worth, one in Rio Grande Valley, and one in San Antonio) with a low of approximately 40% approval in the Houston Bissonnet and Rio Grande Valley hearings offices (based on prior year SSA data).

But, on average, most claimants filing for disability in Texas will have either a one in two chance, or as much as a 60 percent chance of being approved for disability benefits. As to the question, "How many appeals are you allowed for Social Security Disability or or SSI in Texas?", there are two ways to tackle the question.

Common questions about filing for disability in Texas
One way to answer this question is to say "as many appeals as you want". Why? Because the social security administration will allow a claimant to file as many instances of a Social Security Disability or SSI disability application as they want, and to go through the appeals process as often as they want.

However, an individual whose claim has been denied and who chooses to go through the SSA appeals process will, typically, need to file two appeals. The first appeal, following the denial of an inital claim, is called, as we've already stated, a reconsideration.

The second appeal is known as a request for hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. For many, if not most, claimants the disability hearing level is as far as their case will go.

This is true for two reasons. First of all, roughly half of all cases that are brought before federal judges are approved. Secondly, many claimants who are denied by an ALJ at the disability hearing level will choose not to pursue further appeals but, instead, will choose to file a new disability application.

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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