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The Aftermath of a Social Security Denial

If you lose a Social Security hearing, you should not give up hope. This is confirmed by the Office of the Inspector General Report from April, 2016 studying case denials from 2011. A survey of cases from that year revealed that nearly 30% of cases were paid on appeal with nearly another 30% of cases paid upon new application and not requiring another hearing.

So, what can you take away from this? First of all, this report would have been more useful if it included the percentage of denied cases taken upon on appeal. For example, if only 50% of cases were appealed following a claim denial and 30% were successful, that would translate to a 60% win percentage. That would be really good. Also not defined are the percentage of cases that lose at the Appeals Council and are subsequently appeal to the federal court. But, even at the 30% rate as stated, why on earth would you not appeal? A one in three chance of getting benefits for pursuing your case is well worth it.

Even if the appeal is not successful, a new application could be filed thereafter, giving you another nearly 30% chance of receiving your disability benefits.

Therefore, both routes combined result in a possible benefit granting in 60% of cases. And, since there is no penalty for appeal and losing or for filing a new application after an unsuccessful one, you should not be discouraged from pursing your case following an initial.

So, what is the downside to this equation: TIME. An appeal to the Appeals Council will take the better part of a year with a federal court case taking at least another six months. Even if you take the approach of filing a new appeal, it does not end up in the lucky near 30% of decisions granted prior to hearing, then you will wait the better part of two years to get another hearing for your eventual “do over.”

Again, the technicalities of dealing with SSA can be very confusing for claimants, many of whom do not realize that competent representation in the first place gives them a greater than 50% chance of winning their case as opposed to those going it on their own.

Hopefully, these statistics are helpful to you and we remain available to consult should you need representation or have further questions.

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