Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

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).

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    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.

    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