Federal Courts May Explain High SSDI Denial Rate

SSDI denial happens all the time, including to people who desperately need the benefits. If you’ve applied for SSDI and been denied, you may be confused, angry, and unsure what step to take next. We can help.

High Rejection Rate

A recent report in the Washington Post may help us understand the high denial rates and what you can do to make sure you have the strongest SSDI application possible.

According to the report, federal courts currently rejected 60% of the SSA decisions that go to appeal.

Let’s say you apply for SSDI and get denied on your first try. After that, you have the option to appeal. An administrative law judge decides your case. And if you disagree with their decision, you can appeal further to a federal court.

At that point, a federal judge will determine whether or not the administrative law judge decided your case correctly. If they believe there may have been a mistake, they’ll send it back to the administrative law judge to take another look.

For decades, the federal courts only sent back a small fraction of cases. Now, it’s the majority.

lawyers Memphis TNHow the Decisions Get Made

Administrative law judges are often doing the best job they possibly can. However, it can be a really difficult position, and it’s never error-proof.

First, some administrative law judges have to rush their decision because of case overload. The SSA is currently abysmally understaffed, and judges are taking on hundreds of cases a year. This makes it extremely difficult to review all the material and make a fair decision based on the evidence.

Some cases have hundreds of pages of evidence, and sometimes the court simply doesn’t have the time to review those pages thoroughly.

According to the Washington Post, some judges may also feel timid about over-approving cases. SSDI is an insurance benefit that you get by having already paid into the system. But there’s still some political pressure to keep costs as low as possible and to approve fewer cases than judges approved a few decades ago.

The report shows that when federal judges refer the cases back to the administrative law judges, it often doesn’t make a difference. The lower court rarely overturns their original decision.

How You Can Avoid SSDI Denial

So what does this mean for you? It means you need to go into any appeal process with the absolute best lawyer you can get.

There are plenty of SSDI attorneys out there, but in a system like this, you really need a fighter. You need someone who won’t back down, is willing to work on your case no matter how long it takes, and communicates with you every step of the way.

Because the government limits the amount an SSDI lawyer can make to a small fraction of your past-due benefits — and because they only make money if you win — you don’t have to shop around for the best price. Instead, you want to look at experience and reputation.

Our Memphis SSDI firm has helped hundreds of people get the benefits they need when it matters most. And our award-winning team is committed to helping you every step of the way, no matter how complicated your case.

We know how long this process can take, and so we are honest with you and never give up.

We are in it for the long-haul.

You deserve nothing less. To get started with a free consultation, just give us a call today at 901-327-2100 or fill out the form on this page for more information.