Why are State-by-State SSDI Approval Rates Different? And Why Is That Important?
Something not many people are aware of is that the Social Security Administration’s SSDI approval rates vary state-by-state.
When people apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, their initial application is collected by a Social Security Administration field office in their state, and they verify the details of the application, but then they send it on. The initial application is actually reviewed and handled (almost always) by state-run offices, usually called Disability Determination Services, or “DDSs.”
These offices are funded by the SSA, and they follow the same policies as the SSA when it comes to reviewing the applications. The second part of the application process, Reconsideration, is also handled by the state-run DDS. And while these state-run offices work for the Social Security Administration and follow all the same rules and procedures, but their results can differ quite a bit.
When people go to the third part of the application process, The Hearing, in most cases, their hearing will be held in their state, too, although that will be held at an official office of the Social Security Administration, that is managed by a department within the SSA called “OHO” or the Office of Hearing Operations. The Administrative Law Judges who hear the cases all work for OHO, and again follow the same rules and procedures, but every office is different and has different wait times and SSDI approval rates.
Knowing what is likely to happen can give a person applying for SSDI benefits some comfort – forewarned is forearmed, after all. We’ve collected data from the Social Security Administration about each state and presented it here for you, so you can have a better understanding about what your case experience might be like. Remember, though, the SSDI approval rates data is usually aggregated and average, and is meant to give you a good idea about what the experience is like – but your actual experience may differ greatly from the average.