Disability Approval Map: How Does Your Own State Compare?

Disability Benefits

Important: We updated this article in January 2023 with the most recent info available from the Social Security Administration. How hard is it to get Social Security disability (SSD) benefits in your state? What if you’re applying on a disabled child’s behalf instead of yourself? We looked at the Social Security Administration’s disability approval rates for every U.S. state in the past 12 months. We also checked disability approval rates for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Below, we’ll list the states where you’re most and least likely to win either SSD or SSI benefits.

States With the Highest and Lowest SSI Disability Approval Rates for Children

Mothers with either preemie babies or kids born with certain health issues often qualify for SSI. These monthly payments help them cover things such as high-calorie formula, in-home nursing care or other special needs. And with many older Americans raising their grandchildren at home, these SSI benefits are crucial for making ends meet. There’s also another reason why the SSI disability approval rates are so high for kids. SSI can help cover certain costs for children born with developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome or spina bifida. Since those kids will need dedicated medical care for life, SSI can help struggling parents cover those costs.

In the past 12 months, SSI disability approval rates for kids were highest in these states:

  1. Oregon79%
  2. Colorado76%
  3. Idaho, Utah75%
  4. Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota74%
  5. Hawaii, Maryland, South Dakota, Vermont71%

These states had the fewest SSI approvals for children:

  1. Georgia39%
  2. Delaware42%
  3. Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana46%
  4. District of Columbia (i.e., Washington, D.C.), Ohio, South Carolina48%
  5. Michigan, Tennessee49%

States With the Best & Worst Disability Approval Rates for Adults

If you’re aged 18-66 and health issues make you unable to work for at least 12 months, you can apply for SSI, SSD, or both. We looked at applications for each benefit program as well as concurrent claims in the last 12 months.

On average, these states have the highest adult disability approval rates overall:

  1. Alaska65%
  2. Kansas50%
  3. New Hampshire – 49%
  4. Nebraska47%
  5. Montana – 45%

As you can see, you have 50/50 shot or better at winning SSD or SSI benefits in just two states!

States with the lowest disability approval rates for adults (once averaged) are as follows:

  1. Oklahoma, District of Columbia (i.e., Washington, D.C.) – 30%
  2. West Virginia, Kentucky32%
  3. New Mexico, Indiana – 33%
  4. Arizona, Mississippi, Texas34%
  5. Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, North Carolina, Wisconsin35%

As you can see, your chances aren’t great if you live in one of the states listed above. And the SSA awarded benefits to no more than 1 in 3 adults in six states during the past 12 months.

Infographic: Interactive Map of Disability Approval Rates for All U.S. States

If your state isn’t listed among the best or worst states shown above, now what? We’ve mapped out the stats for every U.S. state as of January 2023 in our interactive map below:

Live in a state where the government denies benefits to more than half the people who file? Having a Social Security lawyer file your claim nearly triples your chances for winning benefits right away. In fact, most people who apply with legal assistance through our website receive $13,000 in back pay plus monthly benefits. Those who apply on their own without legal assistance usually wait just over two years for their first payment.

Every disability lawyer we can connect you with gives free claim help to people who qualify. We’ll match you with the closest attorney available to answer your questions for free right away. This way, you can get expert claim help by phone. If the SSA doesn’t award you benefits, then you pay your lawyer $0. And if you win, then you’ll only one small fee.

Want free expert claim help without leaving your home? Click the button below to sign up for a free phone call during regular weekday business hours:

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Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.