Social Security Disability by the numbers: The data and your claim

When some type of medical condition prevents you from working on a long-term basis, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits if you have a significant enough work history and have paid into the system through payroll deductions. Yet, it can be hard to win adult disability cases and get the benefits you have earned. According to the Social Security Administration’s own numbers, more Social Security Disability applicants are being denied benefits when making a claim.

Fewer claims, lower approval rates and more awards being terminated

The approval rate for Social Security Disability claims fluctuates somewhat over time, and a pattern of past approvals or denials should not be taken as any kind of guarantee. That being said, the latest numbers from the Social Security Administration can help eliminate some misconceptions and might just help you go into your own claim with more realistic expectations and a better strategy for achieving success.

Contrary to some of the rhetoric you may have heard in the media, disability claims are actually down in recent years. There were 2,820,812 Social Security Disability claims in 2012, a decrease from the 2,878,920 claims filed the previous year.

Not only is the number of claims down, but the percentage of claims in which benefits are actually awarded is also down. In the first quarter and second quarter of 2013, the number of Social Security Disability claims that were approved dropped by 5.95 percent and 0.01 percent, respectively. In 2012, the percentage of claims in which benefits were awarded dropped by 4.39 percent compared to the previous year.

In addition, benefits are being terminated at even higher rates. In 2012, 726,432 disabled workers had their benefits terminated, an increase of 10.58 percent over the number of benefit terminations in 2011.

Tough road to benefits, but an experienced lawyer gives you the best odds

What do the numbers mean for you? First, these numbers mean that there is no Social Security Disability crisis or run on benefits as some media sources have portrayed. Second, they should not discourage disabled workers from pursuing benefits, but do serve as a reminder that securing benefits for adult disability can be difficult and is best accomplished with the right legal help.

A Social Security Disability lawyer can handle your case and argue persuasively for the benefits you need at every stage of the process. Your lawyer will know the system, the best people to deal with at the Social Security Administration and within the courts, and how to gather and present evidence in a way that will be most convincing to decision makers.

Many Social Security Disability claims are initially denied. But, over a ten year period, the Social Security Administration reported that nearly half of disability claims were ultimately successful once every avenue of appeal had been pursued. Make sure you fall in the right half of Social Security Disability applicants: call a lawyer today.