The myth that there are a lot of able-bodied people sitting around collecting Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits has been around for a long time — and there’s absolutely no truth to it.
The vast majority of Social Security Disability applications are denied, many of them wrongfully. If you want proof that the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) convoluted approval system is out of whack, you don’t have to look any further than the roughly 110,000 people who died between 2008 and 2019 waiting on their appeals to be heard.
The situation is bad — and getting worse
It’s never been particularly easy to obtain SSD benefits, but the statistics from just the past few years create a vivid picture of just what kind of battle applicants have to obtain their benefits.
In 2020, for example, SSA’s field offices took almost 200,000 fewer applications for disability benefits than they did in 2019, yet the number of approved claims decreased from the previous year by 10.46%.
In any given year since 2006, only 31% to 38% of new disability applications are approved. If your claim is denied, you can quickly file an appeal and hope for the best. If that’s denied, you have to start down the long, arduous road toward a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) — and the wait to see the judge is longer than a year.
You do yourself a favor by understanding as much as you can about the Social Security Disability application from the very start. If your claim has already been denied once, it may be time to seek some experienced legal assistance so that you have the best possible chance for a positive outcome on your first appeal.