Every year, the Social Security Administration releases a report about its disability benefits program. The most recent "Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits" report from the federal agency makes it clear that it is harder than ever before to gain approval for benefits.
Believe it or not, but the report shows that there are still more than 4,000 outstanding applications for SSD that were filed in 2009. That means that when those folks applied, Barack Obama was in his very first year of the presidency. And the Social Security Administration has still not decided one way or the other on their disability claims.
There are nearly 6.000 outstanding SSD/SSDI claims from 2010 and more than 10,000 remaining from 2011. There are more than 100,000 outstanding claims from 2013 and more than 300,000 each for the years 2014 and 2015.
The rate of approval for SSD claims is also jaw-dropping. Consider that in 1999, the initial approval rate for Social Security Disability claims was at 56 percent. The initial approval rate was above 50 percent until 2003, when it dropped to 47.8. It remained above 40 percent until 2010, when it dropped down to 37.6 percent.
That initial approval rate stayed above 30 percent until 2015 when it dropped all the way to 28.7 percent.
During those years, the overall approval rate (which includes results of SSD appeals) has also dropped, going down from a high of 62.8 percent in 2001 to just 50.4 percent in 2015.
The numbers make it clear that it's harder than ever to get approval for Social Security Disability, which means it's more important than ever to have a skilled attorney on your side, experienced in navigating the system and its paperwork and procedures.