As I was preparing a presentation for the Louisiana Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Conference in New Orleans next month, I had the opportunity to compare approval rates at Social Security Administrative Law Judge stage over the past few years.  The results – almost a 30% decline in approvals before ALJs from 2010 to 2015. 

SSDI Approval Rates in Significant DeclineData published by SSA show that in 2010, the nationwide approval rate for hearings before ALJs was 62%.  Now, this does not mean that 62% of applicants were approved for disability benefits.  The chart does not take into account the significant number of applicants who were denied at earlier stages of the process and chose to quit fighting. 

Similar data published for 2015 indicate that the approval rate for hearings before ALJs was down to 45%. 

This represents a decline of over 27% in five years at the ALJ level alone. 

When looking at other stages of the process, the Initial Application stage had only a small decline while approvals and remands from the Appeals Council decreased by 40% over the same period of time. 

Based on current political trends, I expect the approval rates to continue to decline in the coming years.

It is more important than ever to have a skilled and knowledgeable Louisiana Social Security disability attorney help you through the process. 

If you or someone you love is fighting for Social Security disability benefits, give us a call at Louisiana Disability Law at 985-240-9773.  We have the experience to guide you through this difficult process.

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Loyd J. Bourgeois
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Nationally recognized attorney dedicated to fighting life's legal battles with compassion and care
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