How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

What are the Odds or Chances of Being Approved for Disability?

Regarding the chances of being approved, at the first level of the Social Security Disability and SSI system, the national average statistics are that approximately thirty percent of all claims will be granted.

When a claim is granted and an award for Social Security Disability or SSI is made, the claimant will typically receive a notice of award which contains information as to the payment amounts (disability back pay and ongoing monthly benefits) and when payment can be expected to be received. If a case is approved following a hearing before an administrative law judge, the claimant will receive a favorable notice of decision, which explains why the case was approved, and will then subsequently receive the notice of award.

The corollary to the thirty percent approval rate for an initial claim, i.e. application for disability, is that seventy percent of initial claims are turned down. There are many reasons as to why disability claims are overwhelmingly denied at the application level. Part of it may be due to the fact that most claimants are not represented by a disability lawyer until later, particularly after they have been denied at least once, and especially if their case is at the hearing level.

It can be argued that disability representation is not crucial at the earliest level of the system, but there are instances in which cases are won prior to the hearing level because they were represented by an individual who was intent on getting the case resolved without the need for a hearing.

However, the primary reasons behind the high denial rate for disability applications most likely has to do with the fact that the social security administration has a culture of denial that allows disability examiners (the individuals who decide claims at the first two levels of the system) to often ignore the opinion of a claimant's treating physician, even when that physician has sent in a detailed and objective statement which supports their patient's claim for disability.

In addition to this, disability examiners are subject to having their decisions reviewed by quality control units which tend to focus their reviews on cases that have been approved by examiners, not cases that have been denied by examiners. Thus, the effect on disability examiners is that they do not approve nearly as many claims as they deny, even including cases with excellent medical evidence to support them. Were this not the case, we would not see nearly so many cases denied by disability examiners and then later approved by judges at disability hearings.

At the second level of the system, the request for reconsideration appeal, only about 15 percent of cases are granted, meaning that approximately 85 percent of claims at this first appeal level are denied. The fact that an even higher percentage of cases are denied on the first appeal is not suprising when one considers the fact that the reconsideration process is identical to the disability application process and the only difference between the two levels is that they involve different disability examiners.

At the disability hearing level, a claimant will stand a forty percent chance of being approved if they are represented by a disability lawyer. The odds of approval even without representation are considerably greater than at the previous levels. However, individuals who are represented can increase the odds of approval by fifty percent greater than this. Claimants whose cases are prepared and presented by a disability lawyer have a win rate of better than sixty percent, according to federal statistics.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Tips for Getting Disability Approved
How Long Will It Take To Get Approved for Disability and what determines this?
Can you be approved for disability without having to go to a hearing?
How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
Is There A Way To Get Automatically Approved For SSI And Social Security Disability?
How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?
What are the Odds or Chances of Being Approved for Disability?
How do you find out if a Social Security Disability claim has been approved or even denied?
Can You Get Approved For Social Security Disability if you do not take medication or go to a doctor?
What are my chances of being approved for disability benefits in North Carolina?
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Wisconsin?

If you apply for disability in in Wisconsin

Getting a Disability Lawyer in Wisconsin

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.