How hard is it to get approved for 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. In addition, we reviewed 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 expenses 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 children were highest in these states:
- Alaska – 82%
- Idaho – 75%
- South Dakota – 70%
- Colorado, Oregon – 69%
- Nebraska, North Dakota, Vermont – 68%
- New Hampshire – 67%
- Hawaii – 66%
- Kansas, Utah – 65%
These states had the fewest SSI approvals for disabled children seeking benefits:
- Delaware – 37%
- Indiana – 38%
- District of Columbia (i.e., Washington, D.C.), Georgia – 39%
- South Carolina – 40%
- Alabama, Mississippi – 42%
- Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Tennessee – 45%
- Ohio – 46%
- West Virginia – 47%
States With the Best & Worst Disability Approval Rates for Adults
If you’re aged 18-64 and health issues force you to stop working 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 screened for both in the last 12 months.
Once averaged across both programs as well as concurrent applications, these states have the highest adult disability approval rates overall:
- Kansas – 58%
- Alaska – 56%
- New Hampshire – 47%
- Nebraska – 46%
- Wyoming – 43%
As you can see, you have a greater than 50/50 shot at winning SSD or SSI benefits in just two states!
States with the lowest disability approval rates for adult applicants (once averaged) include:
- District of Columbia (i.e., Washington, D.C.) – 27%
- Oklahoma – 28%
- West Virginia – 29%
- Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Mississippi – 30%
- Kentucky, North Carolina – 31%
- Florida – 32%
- Colorado, Hawaii, Maine – 33%
The SSA approved no more than 1 in 3 disability claims from working-age Americans in these 13 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 for disability applicants shown above, now what? We’ve mapped out the stats for every U.S. state as of November 2021 in our interactive infographic below:
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Live in a state where the government denies benefits to more than half of all disability applicants? 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 $12,000 in lump-sum backpay as well as monthly benefits. Those who apply on their own without legal assistance typically wait just over two years for their first disability payment. In addition, most do not receive the maximum backpay amount they’re entitled to based on their work record.
Every disability attorney in our network offers free, no-obligation claim reviews by phone to those who qualify for legal assistance. We’ll match you with the closest attorney available to answer your questions for free right away. This way, you can get confidential claim help over the phone without ever leaving your house. It’s the fastest and easiest way to get legal assistance! If the SSA doesn’t award you benefits, then you pay your lawyer $0. And if you do win, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!
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.