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

What are the chances of winning a Social Security Disability Benefits hearing?

Many people who file disability claims with the Social Security administration find that they must attend a hearing before an administrative law judge if they feel their disability claim has been denied erroneously at the initial disability application and reconsideration appeal levels. The disability appeal process is a lengthy one at best, and the wait for an administrative law judge hearing is a big part of the wait.

Most Social Security hearings offices are backlogged with thousands of disability claims waiting for their hearing dates. Roughly two million people file for disability each year and if even half of those individuals pursue their claims to a hearing, you can easily see how backlogs have been created and how digging out from such huge backlogs can be problematic, particularly when SSA is receiving so many new hearings appeals each year.

If you are not able to work because of your disabling condition you really have no choice but to be patient and wait for your social security hearing.

Although the wait can be long, the chances of winning your disability benefits at a hearing are the best of any level of the Social Security disability process. In fact, recent statistics indicate that as many as two thirds of all individuals who attend a disability hearing win their case. This may be the best chance for you to be approved for disability benefits, so it is important to make sure you do everything in your power to make things favorable for you.

Remember that, at this point, you have waited a long time for this hearing and you probably have been through a lot of emotional and financial hardship along the way. I have seen people ask in disability forums if they are allowed to represent themselves at their disability hearing. The simple answer to this question is yes. There are no rules against an individual representing themselves at their hearing.

The bigger question is whether or not this will give you a better chance of winning your disability case. Statistical analysis of disability hearing win-loss ratios at hearings office across the nation suggests that individuals who have professional representation, through an attorney or non-attorney Social Security representative, have a twenty to fifty percent greater likelihood of being approved for disability benefits at their disability hearing versus those who choose to represent themselves.

There are many reasons Social Security representatives or attorneys are more successful in winning disability cases. For example, if you have a representative, they most likely have gathered the necessary medical evidence to update your file. They may have gotten physician statements from your treating medical sources, or even functional capacity reports.

These things are important, but there are other things that help win a disability case before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Your representative knows the Social Security vocational and medical guidelines and they are able to present your disability case in a way that is most beneficial to you. Conversely, you feel emotional about your disability case and you probably do not know the Social Security guidelines that could help win your disability case; whereas an experienced representative can simply utilize their knowledge of the system to present your case in an objective and well-ordered fashion. The goal of every representative, of course, is to win the case they are representing.

  • 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

    New and featured pages on

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    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:

    The list of differences between Social Security Disability and SSI
    How to get disability, tip 3
    What does it mean when a disability judge is reviewing your case?
    How long does it take to get a decision on Social Security disability or SSI?
    What kind of Final Decision can I receive on my Disability Application?
    How are Decisions on SSDI and SSI Disability Claims made by SSA?
    How the Decision on a Disability Application or Appeal is Made
    Who Makes The Social Security Disability Decision, A Judge Or A Caseworker?
    How long does the Social Security judge take to make a decision on a case?
    Will an SSI or Social Security Exam help with the Decision?
    Can you get a Social Security Disability decision in under a month?
    Still Waiting For My Social Security Disability Decision
    The average amount of time it takes for a disability decision
    Social Security Disability, SSI Decisions What Is the Rate of Approval?
    Social Security On The Record Disability Decisions

    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