The average person only knows a few details about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. They know that the contributions they make from their paycheck each week go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to fund those benefits. They also know that if they can’t work in the future due to a debilitating medical condition, they can potentially apply for SSDI benefits to help pay their mortgage and other basic household expenses.
However, most people have also heard the claim that almost no one qualifies for SSDI benefits when they first apply. Many people have to appeal to get benefits, but applicants may question whether pursuing an appeal is worth the time and energy involved.
A significant portion of beneficiaries have to appeal
The SSA tracks how often it awards benefits and numerous other details, including the most common medical issues that lead to claims and whether an appeal was necessary for an individual to get SSDI benefits.
Roughly 21% of the people who apply for SSDI get benefits when they first submit paperwork. A portion of those denied benefits will file an appeal, although some will fail to do so. The final approval rate for SSDI applications hovers at around 31% when looking at application outcomes from between 2010 and 2019. In other words, 10% of applicants receive benefits as part of the appeals process. Roughly a third of those who get benefits receive their approval due to an appeal rather than immediately after applying.
Appealing is a challenging process
Someone appealing denied SSDI benefits first has to establish what led to their rejection. Then they need to address that issue. They may need to correct paperwork or go see another doctor to have additional testing performed. They will need to submit paperwork to the SSA and potentially prepare for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
The average person may find the appeals process too challenging to handle alone, which is one reason why it is often beneficial to have guidance throughout the application process. Seeking legal guidance during the SSDI application and appeals process can reduce how stressful it is and increase someone’s chances of success.