How Many Time Will I Have to File an Appeal for Social Security Disability?
Most states require you to file a reconsideration request with Disability Determination Services before you can file a request for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Generally, if you’re denied on your initial claim for disability benefits, you will probably be denied on your first appeal (the reconsideration) as well. SSDI and SSI claims that are denied at the initial level will almost always need to be heard by an administrative law judge (ALJ) at a hearing before they can be approved. So, the answer is you will probably have to appeal twice, unless you’re in one of the few states that have repealed the reconsideration process.
Since reconsiderations are usually handled by the same agency that denied your initial claim, they deny your reconsideration as well. This agency is usually called something similar to Disability Determination Services (DDS) in most states. Some states have only one of these agencies while other states have many agencies of this type, all with very similar names. It’s this kind of agency that carries the responsibility of deciding for the Social Security Administration (SSA) which cases win or lose.
For DDS to approve a claim only weeks after denying it, pretty much means they’re admitting to errors in their decision on the initial claim. This is why DDS very rarely approves a reconsideration.
Because reconsiderations are denied 80 to 85% of the time, disability representatives will often tell their claimants to expect a denial and to expect on needing to see a judge at a hearing before their case can be won and benefits approved.