How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Is An ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) More Likely To Grant A Claim For Social Security Disability or SSI?

There is no question that an administrative law judge (ALJ) is more likely to approve a claim for disability. National statistics show the average approval rates of administrative law judges to be about sixty-six percent. This makes the administrative law judge disability hearing the most winnable level of the entire disability process.

Only about thirty five percent of disability claimants are granted disability benefits at the initial disability claim and only about ten to fifteen percent of the disability claimants who file a reconsideration appeal win their claim for disability.

While it appears that the initial disability claim and reconsideration appeal level approval rates are discouraging at best, they are still the only way a disability claimant can get to a disability hearing with an administrative law judge (because you cannot request a hearing until your disability application and reconsideration appeal have both been denied).

So what should you do if your initial disability claim is denied? If you still wish to to pursue being approved for disability benefits, you should file your reconsideration appeal. You'll do this knowing that the chances are very high that you will be denied. However, going through the reconsideration appeal stage is a prerequisite for getting to a disability hearing with an administrative law judge.

Although the disability hearing has the highest approval rate, the wait for a hearing generally causes great emotional and financial hardship for disability claimants. Due to large backlogs at hearings offices across the nation, and new requests for disability hearings (which are soaring), the wait time for hearings can be twelve months or more. In some localities, it is not unusual to have to wait for up to two years to get a hearing date.

If a disability claimant can manage to survive the wait for their social security hearing, they are very likely to be granted disability benefits by an ALJ at their disability hearing. While administrative law judges use the same disability guidelines to make their disability decisions, they are allowed more freedom in their interpretation of medical and vocational rules than disability examiners. And this results in more approvals for disability benefits.

So while the process can be difficult, it is in every disability claimant’s best interests to use the Social Security Disability appeal process to be granted disability benefits. While it take a lot of time to get a disability hearing, it is far preferable than the alternative of simply filing new applications (which also take processing time but have a much smaller chance of being approved for disability benefits).

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Social Security Disability Appeal Attorney Fees
Can you get disability the first time you apply?
Should I get a lawyer for my disability hearing for SSD or SSI?
Social Security Disability and Going In Front Of A Judge - What Happens?
Do Most People Need To See A Judge To Get Disability Benefits From Social Security?
Can you still Appeal if the Judge denies your Disability Claim?
Is An ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) More Likely To Grant A Claim For Social Security Disability or SSI?
How Long Does It Take To Go Before A Judge For Disability Benefits?
Does The Social Security Judge Use The Same Rules As The Disability Examiner?
How do I see a judge for my Social Security Disability case or SSI Claim?
Do you have to see a judge to get disability benefits?
When do you see a judge for a Social Security Disability or SSI claim?
What Percentage Of Social Security Disability or SSI Cases Does A Judge Deny?
If you apply for disability in Nevada
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Nevada

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.