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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Approval and Denial Rates in Disability Applications

The approval or denial of disability benefits depend on two considerations: location and time.

On location, different states have different approval or denial rates. While it is true that the social security disability claim system is federal, noted differences may be pointed when comparing individual states specifically those belonging to the red or blue states.

The difference lies on the fact that the system is not as objective as the Social Security Administration. Moreover, the decision making is based on a "human reading" of an applicant's medical records which is inherently and unavoidably, a subjective process.

As to time, disability approval or denial rate depends on the level of the claims. Usually, cases heard by Administrative Law Judges have a higher approval rate compared to cases at initial claim or reconsideration levels. In fact, only one third of applications are approved at the initial stage and all the rest are denied.

Denied applicants may file an appeal. However, most of them give up, file a new claim, miss deadlines or fail to show at the hearing. Most claimants forget the fact that some appealed claims have significantly higher rate of being approved.

The system may be complicated but with the help of a disability lawyer, applicants may be informed of what steps to take in processing their social security disability claims.