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.

What is the SSDI Approval Rate at the ALJ Hearing Level?

Data published by SSA show that in 2010, the nationwide approval rate for hearings before ALJs was 62%. 

Similar data published for 2020 indicates that the approval rate for hearings before ALJs was down to 51%.

Now, this does not mean that 51% 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. 

  Louisiana Hearing Approval Rate National Average Hearing Approval Rate
2010 54.3% 67.2%
2011 51.1% 62.5%
2012 51.1% 57.7%
2013 51.4% 55.5%
2014 50.1% 53.7%
2015 51.9% 53.4%
2016 53.4% 54.7%
2017 50.9% 56.8%
2018 51.2% 53.9%
2019 50.2% 52.9%
2020 50.4% 51.1%

What is the SSDI Approval Rate at the Initial Application Stage?

When looking at other stages of the process, the Initial Application stage had a slight increase in approval rates from 35.1% to 38.4%.

  Louisiana Initial Application Approval Rate National Average Initial Approval Rate
2010 35.0% 35.1%
2011 33.7% 33.2%
2012 32.1% 33.4%
2013 34.1% 33.0%
2014 34.7% 32.8%
2015 38.0% 33.1%
2016 37.6% 33.7%
2017 39.4% 34.7%
2018 42.6% 35.6%
2019 42.6% 37.9%
2020 39.3% 38.4%

Obtaining disability benefits is still a long difficult process to obtain benefits with the majority of people failing to do so.

It is very important to your success 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.

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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