The Disability Determinations for fiscal year 2004 have been released by the Social Security Administration, and are little changed from fiscal year 2003.
At the Initial level, 37% of disability claims were allowed, and 63% denied. After the denied claims were appealled to the Reconsideration level, 14% were allowed, and 86% denied. When those denied claims were appealed to the Administrative Law Judge level, 62% were allowed, 13% dismissed, and 25% denied. Upon appeal to the Appeals Council, 2% were allowed, 2% dismissed, 26% remanded to the ALJ level, and 70% denied. Only a relatively small number of cases were appealed to Federal Court, where 6% were allowed, 7% dismissed, 46% remanded, and 41% denied.
This shows, again, that it is worthwhile to appeal an initial denial of a Social Security disability claim. What the statistics do not show is the greater chance of a successful appeal with legal representation.