What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
The Social Security Disability Approval
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
The most difficult part of the disability approval process is the length of time it may take to attain a Social Security disability allowance. Statistics across the nation suggest that roughly 30 percent of all disability claims are allowed at the initial level and about 15 percent are allowed on the reconsideration level, which means that about forty five percent are allowed in the first two levels of the disability process.
Do not be discouraged if you are not allowed at the first two levels because your chances of winning a disability approval at the social security hearing level are good. It has been estimated that, of the claims that are received at the ALJ (administrative law judge) hearing level, sixty percent with representation win, while forty percent of the disability claims without representation win.
It would be safe to say that about 70-75 percent of all disability claims that go through the entire disability process from initial claim to hearings level are "eventually" approved. The implicit assumption, of course, in being approved is that one must persevere and that means filing all available appeals, most specifically the request for reconsideration (following an initial claim denial) and the request for hearing (following a denial on a request for reconsideration).
The entire disability process, including the filing of appeals, may take more than eighteen months in some cases, or more than three years in others (generally if the claim involves a hearing before a judge), depending on the backlog of disability claims in your specific state. Once you are approved, you will receive letters from Social Security informing you of your Social Security disability approval and what your disability benefit amount will be.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials