Friday, April 14, 2006



How many Social Security Disability and SSI cases get denied?

Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that disability cases get routinely denied at all levels of the social security administration's application and appeal system. And, of course, it is even sadder when very strong claims for benefits are turned down as well. As a former examiner for SSD and SSI cases, I saw numerous instances of this.

The percentages, nationwide, are somewhat staggering to anyone who doesn't actually work in the system in some capacity (because individuals who work in the system as field office claims reps and DDS examiners are well accustomed to the numbers). Nationally, more than seven out of ten cases are denied after an application has been filed, and more than eight out of ten cases are denied after a reconsideration or review appeal has been submitted.

Of course, denial rates tend to be different in the various states. In some states, the denial rates are substantially higher than the averages. Additionally, the rate of denial on cases can be very deceptive. This is simply my own opinion, but children's cases are typically harder to win simply due to the fact that some conditions of children, such as asthma, improve over time (though this is certainly not always the case). But the fact that children's cases can be harder also makes a stronger case for having representation.

Older individuals (in their fifties), on the other hand, will usually have a greater chance of being approved versus younger individuals due to the fact that the social security administration takes into consideration the vocational implications of growing older (typically, it becomes more difficult to transfer work skills and, in general, to find employment).

Here are some numbers on the approval rates at disability hearings, with and without representation: Will an attorney really improve your chances of winning Social Security Disability or SSI ?


Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog




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