How many are Approved at a Social Security Disability Hearing in Missouri?

Claims for disability in Missouri that are approved can be neatly grouped into two groups: those applications that were approved at the application, or initial claim, level and those applications that were later approved on appeal.

How many individuals will be approved initially and, thus, be spared having to go through the disability appeal process? Roughly thirty percent (though this does vary widely depending on one's state of residence). The remainder who are denied disability benefits will be faced with the choice of giving up entirely, or appealing.

Typically, of course, those who decide to appeal are making a far wiser choice. The chances of approval rise considerably at the hearing appeal level. That appeal is known as a request for hearing before an administrative law judge and it is exactly what its name implies.


1. The SSD SSI disability appeal process
2. How long does the disability process take?
3. Process of winning a disability appeal
4. Process to be approved on disability appeal

Disability hearings are held at official social security hearing offices or at approved satellite locations. They are conducted by federally appointed administrative law judges who specialize in making decisions on Social Security Disability and SSI claims.

How do these judges make their decisions? In essence, they decide the outcome of disability claims in the same way that disability examiners render decisions at the initial claim level. That is, they review the claimant's work history (to determine the skills acquired by an individual, the requirements of their past jobs, and whether or not those skills may transfer to other jobs) and the claimant's medical history (to determine the individual's current and projected functionality).

The difference between the decisions made by judges and the decisions made by disability examiners is this: disability claimants can take an active role in the process at a hearing. As opposed to an initial disability application, where a claimant is reduced to merely being a file in a disability claim examiner's filing cabinet, at a hearing a claimant can respond to questions and provide direct information to A) the judge holding the hearing, B), a vocational expert who may be present at the hearing, and C) the claimant's Social Security Disability attorney.

This difference, and the fact that disability representation can be present during the decision process, makes the hearing level different, even in a qualitative sense. And by that I simply mean this: a significantly higher percentage of cases are won at the hearing level than at any other level of the system.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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