Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

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).

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

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?

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