Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Social Security Disability and SSI Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability Back Pay Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Ask a question, get an answer
What Percentage Of Social Security Disability or SSI Cases Does A Judge Deny?
If your initial disability claim is denied and you still consider yourself to be unable to work at a substantial gainful work activity level because of your disabling condition, you may have no choice but to begin the Social Security disability appeal process. This process can take months or even years to get to an administrative law judge hearing. Wait times for disability hearings vary due to huge hearing backlogs in many areas of the country.
Nearly sixty-five percent of all initial disability claims end in denial, which basically means that sixty-five disability applicants out of every one hundred who file an initial disability application are denied. If all sixty-five denied disability applicants file a reconsideration appeal (this is the very first appeal that is available to claimants who have been denied) with Social Security, only about 8 or 9 additional individuals would be approved for disability benefits (the reconsideration appeal denial rate is even higher than the denial rate at the disability application level).
This basically means that, of the original one hundred individuals who filed initial an disability claim, there would still be fifty-four individuals who would have to file an appeal with an administrative law judge (formally known as a "request for hearing before an administrative law judge") in order to have any hope of receiving a social security disability award, or SSI disability award.
Although the statistics above seem dismal, it is not as bad as it appears. The chance of being approved for Social Security disability benefits dramatically improves at the administrative law judge hearing. National statistics indicate about sixty-six percent of all individuals who file disability hearing appeals are approved by an administrative law judge.
Back to our example, this means that only about thirty-four percent are denied at the disability hearing. Remember, these statistics are only a national average and that some areas have far more individuals approved for disability by judges while other areas have less. Nonetheless, by all standards, administrative law judges have the highest approval rates in the Social Security disability process.
However, to get a case heard by a judge, a claimant needs to file a reconsideration request if their disability application is denied. And if the reconsideration appeal is also denied (and it typically is), the claimant needs to file a request for a disability hearing. It should also be noted that the higher rates of approval by administrative law judges are coupled with the fact that claimants who win their cases at hearings usually have representation in the form of a disability attorney, or non-attorney disability advocate.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria