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Here is the latest compilation of DDS Initial and Reconsideration Allowance Rates by Nation, Region and State (link opens 3-page PDF chart). The data is from FY 2011, and was published in the July 2012 Social Security Forum, a newsletter for NOSSCR members.

I am always intrigued by varying allowance rates among regions of the country and the several states. The allowance rate for initial disability and SSI claims nationally is 33.5%. But look that the variation among states! What explains the difference in allowance rates, other than different attitudes and cultures among the various state DDS agencies?

Looking at the numbers in the northeast, where I practice, Maine allows 32% of initial claims and 14% of claims at Reconsideration. Massachusetts leads the region with almost 43% of initial claims allowed, and then allows another 23% of the claims that are appealed to the Reconsideration level. Again, why such a dramatic difference in allowance rates between these two states within the Boston region? 

New Hampshire is a "prototype" state, so initial claims that are denied and appealed by the claimant go directly to a hearing by an administrative law judge. There is no intermediate Reconsideration step in New Hampshire. New Hampshire's allowance rate for initial claims is 49%.