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SSDI benefits approval rate is less than 40 percent

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2013 | Social Security Disability

If you are a worker in Ohio, and you suffer some debilitating injury or illness that is not work related and your employer does not offer disability insurance, what would you do?

You may think that you could qualify for unemployment insurance, but that may not be an option, as quitting your job due to a health may not be a qualifying condition. If you cannot receive unemployment and you cannot work, where would you turn? Many Ohio residents apply for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. This program has come under criticism for allegedly making it too easy for disabled workers to obtain benefits. 

We find this surprising, because we work with many clients every year and few remark on the “ease” with which the process awards benefits. According to one study, the U.S. one of the most restrictive disability benefits programs within the developed nations of the world. Only Korea is more restrictive, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) typically approval rate is in the mid-30 percent range for SSDI.

People who receive SSDI have serious medical illnesses or conditions like multiple sclerosis, heart disease, cancer and emphysema. Part of what makes the application difficult and complex is the need for medical evidence.

You have to submit documents from doctors and other healthcare professionals describing your medical condition. The incidents of fraud are very low, with a rate of less than one percent.

Additionally, the process is relatively efficient, with administrative costs to run the system being about 1.4 percent of the benefits. This compares quite favorably with many Wall Street investments, which have administrative fees well about 1.4 percent.

Source: Think Progress, “Nine Facts That Prove Disability Insurance Isn’t A Giant Boondoggle,” Rebecca Vallas and Shawn Fremstad, October 16, 2013