SSI and SSDI Applications, Approvals and Appeals

SSI and SSDI Process

When it comes to filing for SSI or SSDI benefits, many people have no idea what to expect. If you feel completely lost about this process, you’re far from being alone. One of the simplest ways to find clarity is by looking at some concrete numbers.

Although the Social Security Administration publishes quite a bit of data about their annual activity, it’s not always easy to find. That’s why we’ve created an easily-digestible overview of the most important data. Once you have more insight into how the process actually works, you should feel much more confident about going through it yourself.

All the SSA Figures You’ve Been Wanting to Know

Social Security Applications

In 2013 year, the Social Security Administration received over 2.6 million applications. Of those, approximately 31% are given a technical denial. A few common examples of technical denials are: an income that exceeds the SSA limit, inadequate Social Security Credits, missing medical records or a filing done on behalf of someone else that doesn’t properly establish the relationship between the two parties are.

The other 69% go into the initial application stage. During this stage, a disability examiner will evaluate a series of questions, including if the claimant works, the severity of their condition, if their specific impairment meets the SSA’s corresponding criteria, whether that individual can continue their previous work, and if the claimant is capable of doing any other type of work.

Social Security Benefits Appeal

Based on the evaluations done during this initial stage, 66% were denied in 2013. This staggering figure may seem like the final blow to a claim. But of all the figures covered in this post, this number may be the most important to remember—if you receive an initial denial, it shouldn’t come as a shock. Instead, it simply means you need to file an appeal. Over 70% of claimants who continue are eventually approved at the hearing level, so it’s crucial not to get discouraged.

Instead of throwing in the towel, a much better option is to work with a legal professional who can assess your case and figure out why your claim wasn’t approved. Having this type of support and representation can significantly increase your likelihood of ultimately being approved for SSI or SSDI benefits.

If you’re planning to file your initial application for benefits or you’ve already filed but received a denial notice, you should strongly consider speaking with an attorney about your claim. You can easily contact Lisa M. Ritacco to schedule a free consultation about your initial filing or appeal

(Statistics listed are cited from: Annual Statistical Report on Social Security Disability Insurance Program 2012,