Overview of Disability

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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

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SSDRC Disability Blog

Social Security Disability Approval and Denial Rates

I recently made a comment about approval and denial rates and am reposting this information here. This is based on information compiled and presented in the recent "Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance program".

Regarding the SSD system and getting through it, it is a difficult system. The rate of denial, nationally, at the initial claim level for disabled workers in the Social Security Disability program (there are other categories such as widow/widower claims and disabled adult children) has dropped in recent years to about 23 percent. The corollary to the disability application approval rate of 23 percent is that 77 percent of claims are denied.

The rate of denial for disabled workers in the Social Security Disability program at the reconsideration appeal level (the first appeal) has dropped to about 10 percent (in prior years it was 12-14 percent). A reconsideration appeal rate of approval of 10 percent also means a denial rate of 90 percent.

However, the allowance rate for disabled workers in the Social Security Disability program at the disability hearing level was recently recorded at 76 percent. That figure dropped to 55 percent when a case involved both SSD and SSI.

Note: this information was provided by the Social Security Administration in 2012. It seems that approval rates have continued to drop very significantly since then, thus making it even more important to 1. not fail to file appeals, 2, continue to have recent medical evidence supporting a claim, 3. comply with all DDS requests for information, 4. go to all scheduled appointments, and 5. get representation at the very least by the time it is clear that the case is progressing to the disability hearing level.

The reality is that individuals who pursue their claims to the hearing level will have a good chance of winning benefits. SSA, in the opinion of many, actually counts on people to give up and drop out of the process at the earlier levels. And many do because the process is so very long.

As for attorneys and representatives, I would advise anyone who has a hearing to get a competent representative because those 2-3 years of applications and appeals that occur BEFORE the hearing takes place will be wasted if someone is not prepared for that disability hearing (which often takes just 20 minutes).

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

Related pages:

How Likely are You to Win Your Disability Case?
How do you Win disability Benefits
How severe must your condition be to get disability?
How Does A Disability Examiner Determine functional limitations?
Social Security Disability Tips how a claim gets worked on
Tips for Getting Disability Approved
Tips for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI
Why does Social Security or DDS disregard my doctor's statement supporting my case?
When you file for disability do you have to see their doctors?
Social Security Disability Approval and Denial Rates
Social Security Attorneys and Disability Representatives
Disability lawyers - basic questions for Social Security help

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 provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Disability qualifications - Who will qualify is based on functional limitations
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
How to file for disability and the information needed by Social Security
What conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?
How does back pay for Social Security disability work?
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI? Part I
To get a Social Security Disability or SSI Award do you have to have a Permanent Disability?
Social Security Disability Status - when should I call to check
Do Lawyers Improve The Chances of Winning Social Security Disability or SSI?
What is qualifying for disability based on?
How to qualify for disability - The Process of Qualifying for Benefits
Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
How long does it take to get disability?
Filing and applying for disability in Texas