Disability Award Rates are declining:
In 2000, a little over 1.3 million people applied for disability benefits. Of those 1.3 million, nearly 63% ultimately received disability benefits.
Broken down by level; 41% were approved after the initial claim; 13% of those that were denied & appealed were awarded at the reconsideration level; and 73% of those denied who appealed to hearing level were awarded benefits.
In 2005, over 2 million people filed for disability benefits and the allowance rate dropped to 58% overall.
By level; almost 37% were approved at the initial level; of those that were denied and appealed, 8.7% were approved at the reconsideration level; and the award rate at hearing level dropped to around 66%.
In 2010, a record 2,8 million people filed for disability benefits and again the overall allowance rate dropped, this time to 55%.
Again by level; barely 36% were approved at the initial level; only 6.3% of those who appealed the initial denial were approved at the reconsideration level; but the award rate at the hearing level stayed about the same, at 66%.
So as more people are applying for disability benefits, the award rates at each level have declined. This is caused by numerous factors. A lot of new judges have been appointed in the past few years; the bad economy has caused more people to apply for benefits than who might otherwise; the lack of good medical care is making it harder to prove your disability claim to SSA; or because of the poor economy, more people are trying to get benefits on their own without an attorney. Now, more than ever, having a knowledgeable attorney assist you with the disability process appears to be important. The award rate for claimants with attorney’s has always been significantly higher than those who chose to go it alone.
Please visit our website at www.socialsecurityjustice.com or contact one of the Bailey & Galyen offices for additional information.