Approval Rate For Disability Applicants is Down

Contrary to what you might hear from some people and media sources, disability awards are not “out of control.” The truth is approval rates for disability applicants have fallen significantly at every administrative level in recent years.

The allowance rate for initial applications was 33% in 2013, down from 37% in 2009. The national allowance rate at the Administrative Law Judge level has fallen significantly from 62% in 2007 to 48% in 2013. This is the first time the allowance rate for judges has fallen below 50% in many years – and the lowest rate recorded in more than 30 years!

So what’s changed?

Are people any less “disabled” now than five years ago? There have been no significant changes in the disability laws or regulations to explain this downturn in awards. People have the same back injuries, major depression or diabetic neuropathy, for instance, now as they had before.

I believe this drop in approvals is due to a change in culture that encourages disability examiners and Administrative Law Judges to deny claims. There’s a lot of political pressure on the Social Security Disability program. This pressure, however, should not result in Social Security denying much-needed benefits to an otherwise deserving individual.

If you were denied Social Security Disability benefits, at Levine Benjamin we can help with your appeal. Call us right away if you’ve received a denial letter.

Category: Workers' Comp
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