Every worker in the United States, from a teenager making french fries to self-employed electricians, contributes to Social Security. Employees and self-employed individuals alike make substantial contributions toward Social Security with every paycheck they receive or tax return they file.
For many people, those contributions to Social Security can help augment their retirement. Social Security retirement benefits help provide support to older adults who have worked for years through monthly payments. However, some workers may find themselves in need of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
SSDI helps provide financial support to those too young to retire but unable to work because of medical issues. For most working adults, SSDI benefits are the final option that they will explore after exhausting every other possibility. How likely are you to get SSDI benefits if you find yourself needing to apply?
The majority of applications are not successful
You have probably heard the urban legend that every applicant for SSDI gets rejected. Denials are common, but they are not universal. The Social Security Administration (SSA) reports on the outcome of claims for the sake of transparency.
Between 2010 and 2019, 21% of applicants, on average, received an approval notice after first applying. That is roughly one in five applicants. The other 79% received rejection notices. Many rejected applicants will go on to appeal in the hopes of getting benefits.
Doing so actually makes a lot of sense, as another 10% of applicants eventually get benefits during the appeals process. In other words, a total of 31% or just under one in three applicants will eventually receive SSDI benefits after applying.
How do you improve your chances of approval?
The more you understand how the SSA handles disability claims, the easier it will be for you to meet their standards in your application. You need to submit the right paperwork without any errors, and you also need sufficient corroborating medical evidence that shows a disability that qualifies according to the rules established by the SSA.
Technical errors in the paperwork and insufficient medical documentation are some of the leading causes of application rejections. Many people do bring in professional help when applying or appealing in the hopes of improving their chances of success. Evaluating your situation to see if you might qualify could help you decide if it is time to apply for SSDI benefits.