When it comes to your chances of getting approved for Social Security Disability Benefits initially, or upon the first appeal (called “reconsideration”), the state you live in makes a difference.
Charles Hall’s excellent Social Security blog posted some interesting statistics about initial and reconsideration denial rates last August, which he got from NOSSCR, the National Organization of Social Secuirty Claimants’ Representatives.
The stats show in Fiscal Year 2013, 72.2 percent of disability claims in North Carolina were denied initially. This is higher than the national average of 67 percent of claims denied initially.
At the reconsideration level, in North Carolina 90.4o percent of claims are denied. This is again higher than the national average of 88.6 percent denied at reconsideration.
Due to these high denial rates many claimants in North Carolina have to appeal their reconsideration denial by requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge.
Unfortunately, due to Social Security disability backlogs the wait time (which varies by hearing office) to get a hearing is quite long. The good news? The denial rate at the hearing level is much lower than it is at initial or reconsideration, both in North Carolina and nationally.
The vast majority of Social Security disability cases that I win are at the hearing level.
Given the backlogs and the number of times most people are denied Social Security Disability benefits, it’s best to get a lawyer who understands the law and the process.
An attorney can help prepare your case to give you the best opportunity for success. Statistically, applicants who retain an attorney to represent them are much more likely to win benefits than those who do not.