Illinois Social Security Disability Blog

SSDI Approval Rate at its Lowest in Five Years

August 20th, 2014


According to information released by the Social Security Administration, the Social Security Disability Insurance approval rate is at the lowest it has been in five years.

To qualify for SSDI, a person must be younger than the age of retirement and are unable to work because of an injury or disability. The length of time the disability will last and prohibit working must be 12 months or longer.

Only one-third of applicants were approved with their initial application and only 48 percent of claimants had their application approved at the hearing level.

The latest report show that the 33 percent claims approval rate is even lower than the 38 percent it was in 2008. In 2008, hearing rate was 68 percent.

According to the latest workload reports, it will take 445 days for an SSDI application filed in the Chicago office to go through the process – from receipt of application to its disposition.

For the 52 percent of applications that are denied at the initial hearing, reports show the average waiting time for an appeal hearing in Chicago is almost 14 months from the time appeal is filed until the hearing date is set. Nationwide, for 2014 year-to-date, there have been approximately 311,000 requests for appeal hearings. Of those requests, over 160,000 are still pending.

The exception to this process is the agency’s Compassionate Allowances List (CAL). These are conditions that Social Security has already determined meet their disability standards. Applications with one of these conditions will be expedited through the process.

However, for an Illinois resident who has a disability not on the CAL, Social Security’s own numbers show it can take over three years – 37 months – to go through the application and appeal process, with not guarantee of approval. That is why it is important to contact an experienced Illinois Social Security disability attorney to make sure that all documentation for your claim is done correctly. Mistakes could cause your claim to be denied.

Posted in Social Security Disability Eligibility,Social Security Disability FAQ

Tagged with approval process, approval rate, Illinois social security attorney, Social Security Administration, social security disability approval rate, Social Security Disability Insurance, SSDI approval