August 7, 2016

Social Security Disability Approval Rates Remain Low, Allsup Reports

Social Security Disability Approval Rates Remain Low, Allsup Reports

Allsup explains importance of help with Social Security disability application; low approval rates, long wait times worsen hardship for people with severe disabilities

Belleville, Ill. — Aug. 8, 2016 — Approval rates for people seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in 2015 remained at historic lows, according to Allsup, the nation’s premier provider of SSDI representation services. Only 33% of Social Security disability applicants were approved when they initially filed for benefits during fiscal year 2015. Just 45% of those who appealed and went to the hearing level were approved. In addition, hearing wait times continue to rise, reaching more than 700 days for tens of thousands of claimants.

“Disabled workers often face an uphill climb when applying for the SSDI benefits they earned through years of hard work,” said Mike Stein, Allsup assistant vice president of claims. “It’s become essential for people to choose representation from experts like Allsup to guide them through the complex application process so they have the best possible chance of receiving SSDI benefits.”

Historically, Social Security disability applicants have faced a low approval rate, ranging from 32% to 35% in recent years, according to Allsup analysis of figures from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Hearing-level approvals have dropped to 45% in FY 2015 from 62 percent in FY 2010. Data for 2016 will be available after the Social Security Administration’s current fiscal year ends Sept. 30, 2016.

“It’s more critical than ever to understand the Social Security disability application process, the evidence required, and realize that getting help with your application can help improve your chances of a successful SSDI claim,” Stein explained.

“You have a big advantage by receiving help when you first apply in order to perhaps avoid the very long wait for a hearing,” he said. “Wait times now total more than two years for more than 37,000 SSDI claimants.”

Allsup now offers an extra level of online assistance for those first applying for benefits with empower by Allsup®, a dual purpose online tool for both SSDI benefits and return to work assistance. First-time applicants who choose Allsup have a 50% higher success rate with their SSDI application compared to the national rate at Social Security.

The SSA administers the SSDI program, which has stringent rules to receive benefits. To qualify for SSDI benefits, individuals must have paid FICA payroll taxes, usually worked five of the last 10 years, and have a severe work-disrupting injury or illness that is expected to last at least a year, or is terminal. Applicants also must be under full retirement age (65-67). Find more information on

Five Reasons To Get Help With SSDI Application

Allsup outlines the following top five reasons people should use empower by Allsup for help with their disability insurance application.

  1. Individuals can learn in just minutes their likelihood of being eligible for Social Security disability benefits. People with severe disabilities can avoid Social Security’s long lines and go online for a quick assessment.
  2. Time is crucial, and applicants with SSDI guidance from an expert such as Allsup are more likely to be approved on the first application. This means receiving benefits within months, instead of years.
  3. Inexperienced applicants often make basic mistakes when filing. Applying on their own can be complicated. For example, an honest answer to a seemingly simple question could get someone’s benefits denied. Those who use empower for their SSDI application have an advantage because it’s designed to ask applicants the right questions to document the information that the SSA requires for the disability determination process.
  4. Allsup disability specialists know what is required to file claims quickly and accurately. This includes a streamlined, online process that includes user friendly video and audio messaging to assist empower customers.
  5. Receive ongoing support with empower unlike anything else available. This includes receiving information upfront about all the benefits of the SSDI program, such as work incentives that help individuals return to work if they medically recover. Allsup disability specialists also provide live customer service and support.

To determine your likelihood of qualifying for SSDI benefits, get started with empower and take our Free SSDI Assessment.

Written by

Rebecca Ray