In What State is it Easiest to Get Disability Benefits?

Submitted by Elizabeth on

State governments are not the ones to administer social security benefits. This includes disability benefits.

Instead, all disability benefits applications are assessed and administered by the federal government body, specifically the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Theoretically, this should mean that your chances of having your disability benefits application approved and the time to get approval is the same wherever you live in the United States. This isn’t entirely true as statistics show that benefits applications are approved a little faster or have a higher chance of approval in certain states rather than others.

What States Have the Highest Approval Rating?

The five states with the highest approval rating in 2020 are, as follows (in descending order):

  1. Kansas (best),
  2. New Hampshire;
  3. Wyoming,
  4. Alaska,
  5. Nebraska.

Kansas disability benefits had an approval rating of 69.7% while Nebraska had an approval rating of 57.4% in 2020.

At the bottom of the approval ratings for disability benefits applications were Oklahoma, Arizona, Mississippi, Texas and Florida. Oklahoma had the lowest approval rating of any state in the U.S. with only 33.4% applications approved.

The fact that some states had better approval ratings than others may not have anything to do with the decisions made by the SSA in each state as it may be the evidence submitted by applicants that was not good enough to convince the SSA that the application was justified.

You can’t change the state where you live, but you can help to improve your chances of having your application approved in a number of ways. Let’s dive into these ways.

How Do I Improve My Chances of Getting Approved?

  • If your application is rejected initially, you can still have a shot at potentially receiving disability benefits by appealing the rejection decision. This goes through a series of steps, each of which has a time limit on it. You do need to stick to the time limit to have any chance of having your disability benefits application approved.
  • Insufficient medical evidence of your disability is oftentimes a reason as to why an application is denied. You need to make sure that your symptoms match the SSA’s Blue Book listing and you have as much evidence as is stated in the Blue Book available when you submit your application.
  • You also need to show that you are unable to work for at least the next 12 months. A residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment can help to show this.
  • You need to have worked for long enough to ensure you have accumulated sufficient work credits in order to satisfy those credit requirements of SSDI.
  • If you are appealing a denied disability benefits decision, you do need to respond to any request for information by the SSA in a timely manner, and it is critically important that you do so.
  • Finally, you can improve your chances of having your disability benefits application approved by working with a lawyer.

Get Help From a Disability Lawyer

Once again, the disability benefits application process is made by a federal agency, not state one. And while it may be easier to obtain disability benefits in some states compared to others, the best way of increasing your chances of obtaining a benefit is to work with a disability lawyer who will assess the evidence you have when submitting your application.

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