Thursday, June 07, 2007

How many people win Disability Benefits from Social Security ?

How many people win social security disability or SSI benefits after filing a claim? The answer to this question depends on how you consider it.

If you take the question at face value, here's the answer: nationally, about 30 percent of all claims that are filed are approved at the initial claim level. What is an initial claim? Simply a social security disability application. As you can see, thirty percent does not equate with "favorable odds".

Unfortunately, some people choose to give up on their case after their application for social security disability is denied. A great many individuals also choose to give up on their SSD or SSI case after a reconsideration has been denied (this is the first appeal in the social security system).

How many people get denied at the reconsideration level? About 85% on average. At this point, the odds of getting approved on a disability claim look fairly meager and grim.

However, giving up on a disability at either of these two points is a very bad decision to make and here's why. A little better than half of all claims that were previously denied at the initial and reconsideration levels of the disability system are eventually approved.

Let's illustrate what this really means with the following example. In this example, let's assume that the individuals follow the disability appeal system all the way through to a hearing.

1. 100 people file for disability.

2. 30 (which is 30%) of them get approved and 70 get denied.

3. The 70 who got denied decide to file a reconsideration.

4. Of these individuals, only 11 get approved (about 15%) and 59 get denied.

5. The 59 who got denied at the reconsideration level then file a request for a hearing.

6. At some point, the hearing is held and roughly half of them win. Let's round up and say the number is 30.

So, from the total group of 100 that we started with, how many individuals won their social security disability or SSI case?

Let's add up the numbers. 30 individuals won at the initial claim level, another 11 won at the reconsideration level, and 30 of them won at the hearing level. The total is 71.

The lesson: you stand a seventy percent chance of winning disability benefits, but only if you don't give up and continue to file appeals on your disability case.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Other Posts

Applying for disability
How to get disability
Social Security Back pay