When preparing clients for hearing, we often spend time discussing Social Security Disability Judges approval rates. Social Security does provide guidance to Administrative Law Judges (ALJ’s) as to their rulings, but each ALJ is an individual. In their role, ALJ’s use discretion to apply Social Security’s rules and regulations. This means each ALJ may interpret the rules and regulations differently based upon their review of a claimant’s medical evidence.
Why are Approval Rates Important?
Disability lawyers and claimants applying for SSDI or SSI benefits often search for approval rates to determine how to proceed with their claim. For example, a disability lawyer representing a client with limited medical evidence who is facing an ALJ with a low approval rate can set realistic expectations with the client before the hearing. This helps the claimant and the disability lawyer prepare their testimony more effectively.
In other cases, claimants assigned an ALJ with a higher approval rating may have a better chance of success at hearing with less evidence. Approval rates vary widely. The average favorable hearing approval percentage for 2021 was 51%, according to the SSA. When looking at an ALJ’s approval rate, claimants should make note of judges with significantly higher or lower approval rates than the average.
Average Social Security Disability Approval Rates
In the chart below, you’ll see the 2021 Disability Decision Data recently released by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The chart shows average approval, dismissal, and denial rates at each stage of the disability benefits approval process.
Where to Find Social Security Disability Judges Approval Rates
If you’re scheduled for a hearing and want to find approval rates for your ALJ, you’re in luck! There’s a website, called www.DisabilityJudges.com, where you can find your disability judge approval rate online. The site is updated monthly with data available from the SSA and the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR).
According to the site’s authors, “The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) has over 1600 Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) that conduct hearings and issue decisions for the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are over 160 ODAR hearing offices in the country. This site contains detailed information on every ODAR office and every ALJ including: hearing wait time averages, hearing result summaries (dismissed, approved or denied), judges caseloads, and much more.”
Disability Lawyers in Charlotte, NC
This content was provided by Collins Price, PLLC. Our experienced disability lawyers in Charlotte, NC are kind and client focused. If you are applying for or appealing a denied disability claim, contact our firm today for a free consultation. There is no obligation to hire our firm and no fee for our services unless you win your claim.