Frequently Asked Questions

Do I qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

In order to qualify for SSD benefits, you must satisfy both a non-medical and a medical test.

In order to satisfy the non-medical test, you need to have worked in a covered job long enough to accumulate enough work credits.

The second test, the medical test, requires you to have a condition(s) that satisfies the Social Security Administration’s (“SSA”) definition of disability and has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 consecutive months.

Generally speaking, this program will provide you with a monthly benefit in the event that you become unable to work.

What are my chances of winning a disability claim?

The response is always, “It depends.” The table linked here shows the average chance of winning a disability claim at each level of the process.

What are my chances of winning a disability appeal?

There are two types of disability appeals: Appeals Council Repeal and Federal Appeal

Appeals Council Repeal
Claimants are awarded approximately 1% of the time at this level.

An additional 9% of claimants have their case remanded (sent back) to the original ALJ who made the hearing level denial. These remands may be for further development on a particular issue or to correct a procedural error made in the hearing level decision. Generally speaking, judges do not like to have another judge tell them that they made a mistake. Hearing level ALJs will often just re-deny appeals council remands. As a result, having your claim remanded is not always the best result. The goal at this level is often to get denied, which allows a claimant to appeal in federal court.

Federal Appeal

At this level, you are suing the Social Security Administration in Federal Court.  The odds of winning at this level are approximately 2%, which is hardly better than at the Appeals Council.  Federal judges; however, remand (send back) approximately half of these claims for a further evaluation of issues that were improperly considered at the prior hearing.

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