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

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.

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

Related pages:

How can I win Social Security Disability benefits?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
What kind of cases win disability benefits?
How Likely are You to Win Your Disability Case?
Winning a Social Security Disability Appeal or SSI Appeal
What Will a Disability Lawyer Do to Win a Social Security Case?
What are the chances of winning a Social Security Disability Benefits hearing?
Preparing for a Disability Hearing to Win Social Security or SSI Benefits
Winning Social Security Disability Benefits For Mental Disorders
Can you file for SSD and SSI at the same time and have the cases worked on separately?
Social Security Disability and treatment counselors

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
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