I am tempted to quote most of the article (from today's New York Times)... here are just a few snippets:
"Steadily lengthening delays in the resolution of Social Security disability claims have left hundreds of thousands of people in a kind of purgatory, now waiting as long as three years for a decision.
Two-thirds of those who appeal an initial rejection eventually win their cases." (bolded by me)
"But in the meantime, more and more people have lost their homes, declared bankruptcy or even died while awaiting an appeals hearing...
Of the roughly 2.5 million disability applicants each year now, about two-thirds are turned down initially by state agencies, which make decisions with federal oversight based on paper records but no face-to-face interview. Most of those who are refused give up at that point or after a failed request for local reconsideration.
But of the more than 575,000 who go on to file appeals — putting them in the vast line for a hearing before a special federal judge — two-thirds eventually win a reversal."