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How many times do I have to apply to win benefits?

Many SSDI claimants ask the question, “How many times do I have to apply to win SSDI disability benefits?” This question presupposes that the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies a certain number of applications before they give consideration to whether the claimant is disabled or not. Unfortunately, this belief leads to many claimants simply applying over and over again for SSDI benefits without understanding the SSDI process and how they can improve their chances of winning disability benefits.

Not everyone gets disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA)

First, SSDI and SSI claimants need to understand that there are over 2 million applications for disability benefits each year. In fact, according to the data provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA), in the month of April, when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the labor forced declined by 342,000 workers, more than 225,000 workers applied for Social Security disability benefits. The majority of these applications were denied.

What does this mean for you? It means that if you do not meet the disability criteria you may NEVER be approved for SSDI or SSI benefits.

Many Disability applicants do not understand the Social Security Administration disability process

Out of the millions who apply for SSDI or SSI there are thousands who might have a chance to be approved if they understood the requirements to receive SSDI or SSI, but because they do not do the proper research they waste months or years foundering in the system. Unfortunately, these applicants, if they had done the right things from the beginning, may have received benefits the first time they applied.

The first step in the disability process is to find out the nonmedical requirements for both SSDI and SSI. Find out if you might qualify for benefits. If you do not meet the nonmedical requirements there is no use in applying until you do. For SSDI this generally means you will have to acquire more work credits. For SSI you will have to have VERY limited income and resources. These are nonmedical requirements that cannot be appealed.

Many Social Security Administration disability applicants should appeal their claim instead of reapplying

While the denial rate is very high at the application level for most disability applicants, many SSDI or SSI applicants will have a better chance of winning disability benefits if they appeal their disability claim rather than applying multiple times. Why, because the rate of approval at the hearing level is higher than the application and reconsideration levels.

Disability lawyers who make it to a hearing generally understand the process and many have sought legal counsel from a disability advocate or disability lawyer. The hearing also gives the SSDI or SSI applicant the chance to argue their case before a judge who has the authority to make the disability decision.

What’s the bottom line?

Disability applicants who apply over and over again without stopping to consider why their application has been denied and what they need to do to improve their chances of winning disability benefits will most likely continue to be denied benefit, regardless of the number of times they apply.
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