Most denial of claims for disability benefits can be appealed successfully, if a knowledgeable Social Security Disability Attorney handles your appeal. Patience and perseverance are required to be successful.

The lesson from the following national averages is to continue to pursue your Social Security disability claim through the first three levels — application, reconsideration, and hearing. Most of those who don’t give up before the Social Security disability hearing will be awarded benefits. As you will see from the award rates below, most disability claimants give up too soon.

  1. Initial Application Level. Initial applicants for Social Security disability will wait on an average of 120 days to receive an answer, and only 35% of claimants will be approved. Out of those denied at this initial level, 52% will abandon their claims and only 48% will appeal.
  2. Reconsideration Level. Claimants, who timely filed their appeals within 60 days of the receipt of the denial letter, will wait 90-120 days for a decision. Only 15% of claimants will receive good news. Out of those who don’t, 30% will give up and 70% will appeal.
  3. Hearing Level. This is where patience and good representation pay off. Nationally claimants will wait an average of 15.5 months from the date of the appeal for a hearing to be held. In Central Ohio claimants will wait up to 21 months from the date of the appeal for a hearing, but 38% will be awarded benefits. Of the remainder, 55% will quit and 45% will appeal. Sarah Wolske has an average approval rating of 75% of the claims taken to hearing. For updated statistic in Ohio go to
  4. Appeals Council. Not all denied claims will be appropriate to be taken to the Appeal Council. Another 220 days are required for a decision. Only 2% of claims will be awarded with benefits; 23% of claimants will have their claims sent back for another hearing to the same Administrative Law Judge. The remaining 75% of claimants will give up or file a new claim.
  5. Federal Court To file an appeal in Federal Court is costly and claimants may wait another 540 days for a federal court decision. About half of them will have their claims sent back for another hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Only a small percentage are awarded benefits by the federal court.