The Social Security Administration recently released the 2018 disability decision data as part of their State Agency Operations Report.
As you can see from this chart, the average approval rate across the nation when a person applies for disability benefits is 35% at the initial stage, 13% at reconsideration and 45% in front of an administrative law judge.
If you are considering applying for disability, here are a few concrete things you can increase your chances of success at each stage of the process:
- Work with a local and reputable attorney from as early in the process as possible. For people living in Oregon and SW Washington, we invite you to call our office as early as possible in the process.
- Visit your medical providers regularly and accurately report your symptoms. For many people living with chronic health problems, we often see visits to the doctor where they report things are “fine” or “the same.” This is a wasted visit when it comes to demonstrating how you are limited because of your severe health issues.
- Follow through on recommended referrals and treatments from your healthcare providers. This demonstrates that you are doing all you can to be as functional as possible.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. Substance use can seriously impede your chances of getting approved for disability benefits, particularly if your key health issues relate to your mental health.