The decision to apply for disability benefits can be a humbling one. Most working people prize their sense of independence and loathe the idea of relying on benefits instead of working. Quite a few people continue working when they could retire or refuse to call in sick unless absolutely necessary.
Yet, people often cannot control what happens to their health. A wide assortment of illnesses and injuries could leave someone unable to continue working. Yet, they continue to need income to support themselves and their family members. Someone adjusting to life with a disabling medical condition will have to look at every option for financial support.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can be one of the most important resources for those adjusting to life with a disabling medical condition. Unfortunately, SSDI benefits are notoriously difficult for people to obtain. Is it true that most applicants will face rejection instead of approval when applying for SSDI benefits?
A small but sizable number of applicants get benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) scrutinizes every application carefully. Applicants generally need to have very serious health challenges to qualify for benefits. The requirements include having a condition that prevents them from any type of gainful employment. The condition will also need to last for at least a year or longer. There are also employment history requirements.
Not every worker will quickly and easily qualify for benefits. According to a review of nationwide approval rates, the SSA rejects a majority of applicants when they first apply. Between 2010 and 2019, an average of just 21% of applicants received benefits after initially applying. The remainder received rejection notices.
However, many of those applicants appealed and were successful. Another 10% of applicants obtain benefits during appeals, bringing the national average approval rates over the last decade up to roughly 31%. In other words, just under one-third of applicants can eventually obtain benefits if they follow the right process.
It is, therefore, usually a worthwhile endeavor to seek SSDI benefits when someone can no longer work due to their health challenges. Even after a rejection, applicants still have a decent chance of getting the benefits they need to support themselves and their families while living with a disabling medical condition.