The chart below is a helpful breakdown of exactly what happened with applications for Social Security Disability in 2012. Of all the initial applications, 33% were approved and 67% were denied. Of those that were denied that went through with asking for reconsideration– only 12% were allowed while a whopping 88% were denied– making reconsideration the toughest point to win a favorable decision. Following the denial at reconsideration, those applicants that appealed again were asking for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. That is the first time the Claimant was actually in front of a judge and allowed to answer questions about his or her disability. At that level, 52% were allowed, 16% were dismissed, and 32% were denied. The nest step within the Social Security Administration is to appeal to Appeals Council. That is the final administrative appeal before one must file a civil action in Federal Court. At the appeals council level, only 2% were approved, while 18% were remanded back to the ALJ, 4% were dismissed and 77% were denied.