Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2010

 

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits

Notes

The tables in this section provide data on the outcomes of applications for disability benefits. The data on applications are derived from the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) Disability Research File maintained by the Office of Disability Programs. Each year this file is updated with information about applications for disability benefits that is then used to determine the outcome of those applications. The outcome data in these tables are reported by year of filing and include decisions made through the administrative appeals process.

Table 59 shows the total number of applications filed in a year, the number denied for nonmedical reasons before a medical decision is made (technical denials), the number that are pending a final decision, the outcome of applications for which a medical allowance or denial was made, and award and allowance rates. Applications for which a medical allowance or denial decision was made but which were subsequently denied for nonmedical reasons are shown under the medical decision header as subsequent denials. The most common nonmedical reason for denying a claim is insufficient number of recent work credits. The allowance rate is calculated by dividing the number of medical allowances (including subsequent technical denials) by the total number of medical decisions made for a 1-year cohort. The award rate is a broader program measure that is calculated as the number of allowances minus subsequent denials divided by total applications (minus pending claims) filed for a given year.

Claims that remain pending after 6 years are probably the result of imperfect data rather than excessive delays in the decision-making process. It is highly probable that decisions have been rendered on most of the older claims. For more recent years, the award and allowance rates will change as decisions are made on pending claims.

Tables 60–62 show the allowance rate for Social Security only and the Social Security portion of concurrent applications (which are claims for both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability benefits). Each table shows a different level in the administrative decision-making process, that is, initial adjudicative, reconsideration, and hearing or higher level.

Beginning with 2000, the proportion of claims awarded at each level of the process changed as a result of the Prototype Process being tested in 10 states. Under this test, the reconsideration step of the appeals process was eliminated for applications filed October 1, 1999, or later. Elimination of the reconsideration level in these states results in a decrease in the aggregate proportion of claims awarded at this step.

This section also includes one table that shows the reason for medical allowance and one that shows the reason for medical denial (Tables 63 and 64). The reasons are derived from the sequential evaluation process used by decision makers. SSA maintains a list of impairments that are considered disabling under its regulations. An applicant can be found to be disabled if he or she

An applicant can be denied benefits if he or she

Chart 11. Final outcome of disabled-worker applications, 1999–2009

The final award rate for disabled-worker applicants has varied over time, averaging nearly 45 percent for claims filed from 2000 through 2009. The percentage of applicants awarded benefits at the initial claims level averaged 28 percent over the same period and ranged from a high of 37 percent to a low of 26 percent. The percentage of applicants awarded at the reconsideration and hearing levels are averaging 3 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Denied disability claims have averaged nearly 53 percent.

Area chart linked to data in table format.
SOURCE: Tables 59–64.
NOTES: Awards are calculated as medical allowances minus subsequent technical denials. Technical denials include both nonmedical decision technical denials and medical decisions that were subsequently denied for technical reasons.
The proportion of claims awarded at each level of the process is likely to change as a result of the Prototype Process being tested in 10 states. Under this test, the reconsideration step of the appeals process was eliminated for applications filed October 1, 1999, or later. Elimination of the reconsideration level in these states is likely to result in a decrease in the overall proportion of claims awarded at this step.
Table 59. Outcomes at all adjudicative levels, by year of application, 1992–2009
Year Total Pending
final
decision
Technical
denials a
Medical decisions Award
rate d
(percent)
Allowance
rate e
(percent)
Denials Allowances
Medical Subsequent
nonmedical b
Awards Subsequent
denials c
All disabled beneficiaries
1999 1,265,037 0 104,332 445,995 4,056 708,797 1,857 56.0 61.3
2000 1,364,323 0 136,054 456,468 3,817 766,046 1,938 56.1 62.6
2001 1,513,411 0 170,521 496,850 3,579 840,526 1,935 55.5 62.8
2002 1,716,044 0 231,067 580,718 4,067 898,093 2,099 52.3 60.7
2003 1,942,210 512 374,306 632,182 4,485 928,652 2,073 47.8 59.5
2004 2,262,363 1,806 616,817 679,904 5,681 956,510 1,645 42.3 58.3
2005 2,087,956 4,662 529,684 642,991 7,024 901,605 1,990 43.3 58.2
2006 2,164,544 12,779 612,172 649,635 7,345 880,664 1,949 40.9 57.4
2007 2,216,709 32,967 652,625 622,386 8,001 898,888 1,842 41.2 58.9
2008 2,350,022 101,687 717,526 608,285 9,240 911,444 1,840 40.5 59.7
2009 2,700,140 352,246 844,627 643,858 11,172 846,290 1,947 36.0 56.5
Workers
1992 1,310,004 0 130,885 481,439 5,725 689,111 2,844 52.6 58.8
1993 1,384,501 0 140,314 540,906 5,626 695,007 2,648 50.2 56.2
1994 1,383,092 0 130,240 573,158 5,506 671,791 2,397 48.6 53.9
1995 1,301,472 0 123,711 542,097 5,048 628,380 2,236 48.3 53.6
1996 1,313,818 0 116,988 537,482 5,011 652,221 2,116 49.6 54.8
1997 1,164,680 0 106,868 449,464 4,212 602,277 1,859 51.7 57.2
1998 1,138,101 0 96,718 421,953 4,205 613,181 2,044 53.9 59.2
1999 1,167,650 0 102,305 419,486 4,008 640,065 1,786 54.8 60.3
2000 1,265,188 0 133,947 430,582 3,782 695,006 1,871 54.9 61.7
2001 1,414,524 0 168,232 471,014 3,537 769,861 1,880 54.4 62.0
2002 1,609,492 0 228,455 551,044 4,011 823,934 2,048 51.2 59.9
2003 1,831,162 509 371,333 599,227 4,428 853,663 2,002 46.6 58.7
2004 2,145,633 1,799 612,777 644,231 5,628 879,604 1,594 41.0 57.6
2005 1,970,278 4,636 525,767 607,568 6,930 823,461 1,916 41.9 57.4
2006 2,040,683 12,667 607,392 609,069 7,237 802,429 1,889 39.6 56.7
2007 2,083,899 32,214 647,375 579,550 7,885 815,100 1,775 39.7 58.2
2008 2,212,158 98,598 711,964 565,732 9,103 824,988 1,773 39.0 59.1
2009 2,556,391 341,955 838,776 597,983 11,016 764,784 1,877 34.5 55.8
Widow(er)s
1999 40,053 0 1,173 9,718 17 29,108 37 72.7 75.0
2000 39,990 0 1,258 9,013 11 29,679 29 74.2 76.8
2001 40,227 0 1,344 8,738 13 30,113 19 74.9 77.5
2002 41,316 0 1,540 9,133 18 30,606 19 74.1 77.0
2003 41,467 2 1,646 9,735 24 30,016 44 72.4 75.6
2004 42,615 4 2,073 10,023 22 30,469 24 71.5 75.3
2005 41,572 17 1,896 9,673 27 29,935 24 72.0 75.6
2006 41,577 54 2,195 10,089 38 29,178 23 70.3 74.3
2007 40,879 222 2,212 9,049 29 29,340 27 72.2 76.4
2008 41,444 779 2,322 8,479 35 29,808 21 73.3 77.8
2009 41,399 2,980 2,520 8,240 46 27,591 22 71.8 77.0
Adult children
1999 57,334 0 854 16,791 31 39,624 34 69.1 70.3
2000 59,145 0 849 16,873 24 41,361 38 69.9 71.1
2001 58,660 0 945 17,098 29 40,552 36 69.1 70.4
2002 65,236 0 1,072 20,541 38 43,553 32 66.8 68.0
2003 69,581 1 1,327 23,220 33 44,973 27 64.6 66.0
2004 74,115 3 1,967 25,650 31 46,437 27 62.7 64.4
2005 76,106 9 2,021 25,750 67 48,209 50 63.4 65.2
2006 82,284 58 2,585 30,477 70 49,057 37 59.7 61.7
2007 91,931 531 3,038 33,787 87 54,448 40 59.6 61.7
2008 96,420 2,310 3,240 34,074 102 56,648 46 60.2 62.4
2009 102,350 7,311 3,331 37,635 110 53,915 48 56.7 58.9
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through June 2010. Data for the hearing level or above are current through October 2010.
Because a number of applications remain pending for more recent years, the award and allowance rates will change over time. Cases can be pending at the initial or appellate levels and can include either medical or technical issues.
Data include decisions for Social Security-only applications and applications for both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI); they do not include SSI-only applications.
Data from 1992 through 1998 are available for disabled workers only.
a. Applications were denied for nonmedical reasons; therefore no decision was made on severity of impairment.
b. Applications were denied for nonmedical reasons after a decision was made that the applicant did not meet the medical severity criteria for disability benefits.
c. Applications were denied for nonmedical reasons after a decision was made that the applicant met the medical severity criteria for disability benefits.
d. Rate determined by dividing awards by all applications minus pending claims for that year.
e. Rate determined by dividing medical allowances by all medical decisions for that year.
CONTACT: (410) 965-0090 or statistics@ssa.gov.
Table 60. Medical decisions at the initial adjudicative level, by year of application and program, 1992–2009
Year All decisions Decisions on applications
for Social Security only
Decisions on applications
for both Social Security and SSI
Total Allowances Allowance
rate a
(percent)
Total Allowances Allowance
rate a
(percent)
Total Allowances Allowance
rate a, b
(percent)
All disabled beneficiaries
1999 1,160,792 458,854 39.5 649,980 313,152 48.2 510,812 145,702 28.5
2000 1,228,301 500,657 40.8 688,282 339,764 49.4 540,019 160,893 29.8
2001 1,342,915 558,741 41.6 742,869 379,266 51.1 600,046 179,475 29.9
2002 1,485,020 575,179 38.7 795,055 385,515 48.5 689,965 189,664 27.5
2003 1,567,917 583,830 37.2 804,895 383,281 47.6 763,022 200,549 26.3
2004 1,645,550 602,185 36.6 813,137 388,017 47.7 832,413 214,168 25.7
2005 1,558,281 573,379 36.8 762,559 369,376 48.4 795,722 204,003 25.6
2006 1,552,316 560,044 36.1 752,254 362,063 48.1 800,062 197,981 24.7
2007 1,563,903 580,943 37.1 756,267 376,151 49.7 807,636 204,792 25.4
2008 1,631,601 625,726 38.4 774,884 401,311 51.8 856,717 224,415 26.2
2009 1,852,668 699,471 37.8 889,184 454,947 51.2 963,484 244,524 25.4
Workers
1992 1,179,119 436,715 37.0 558,741 248,385 44.5 620,378 188,330 30.4
1993 1,244,187 421,560 33.9 571,464 240,839 42.1 672,723 180,721 26.9
1994 1,252,852 390,785 31.2 591,408 233,059 39.4 661,444 157,726 23.8
1995 1,177,761 367,293 31.2 569,963 223,457 39.2 607,798 143,836 23.7
1996 1,196,830 384,167 32.1 593,992 237,474 40.0 602,838 146,693 24.3
1997 1,057,812 357,880 33.8 551,909 228,793 41.5 505,903 129,087 25.5
1998 1,041,383 374,376 35.9 550,794 238,989 43.4 490,589 135,387 27.6
1999 1,065,430 396,253 37.2 578,884 259,417 44.8 486,546 136,836 28.1
2000 1,131,273 435,416 38.5 615,507 283,906 46.1 515,766 151,510 29.4
2001 1,246,317 493,638 39.6 670,621 323,649 48.3 575,696 169,989 29.5
2002 1,381,078 507,038 36.7 718,618 327,298 45.5 662,460 179,740 27.1
2003 1,459,842 514,873 35.3 728,171 324,771 44.6 731,671 190,102 26.0
2004 1,532,860 531,112 34.6 737,019 328,863 44.6 795,841 202,249 25.4
2005 1,444,520 501,089 34.7 685,206 308,900 45.1 759,314 192,189 25.3
2006 1,433,236 487,671 34.0 674,475 301,954 44.8 758,761 185,717 24.5
2007 1,436,352 504,098 35.1 675,083 313,217 46.4 761,269 190,881 25.1
2008 1,499,335 546,495 36.4 692,597 336,526 48.6 806,738 209,969 26.0
2009 1,714,863 621,836 36.3 809,439 393,092 48.6 905,424 228,744 25.3
Widow(er)s
1999 38,880 24,898 64.0 29,600 21,272 71.9 9,280 3,626 39.1
2000 38,732 25,748 66.5 29,874 21,967 73.5 8,858 3,781 42.7
2001 38,883 26,206 67.4 30,273 22,436 74.1 8,610 3,770 43.8
2002 39,777 26,541 66.7 31,059 22,787 73.4 8,718 3,754 43.1
2003 39,821 25,997 65.3 30,366 22,240 73.2 9,455 3,757 39.7
2004 40,542 26,590 65.6 29,686 22,236 74.9 10,856 4,354 40.1
2005 39,676 26,179 66.0 29,308 22,009 75.1 10,368 4,170 40.2
2006 39,382 25,491 64.7 28,524 21,381 75.0 10,858 4,110 37.9
2007 38,667 25,487 65.9 27,657 21,175 76.6 11,010 4,312 39.2
2008 39,114 26,090 66.7 27,508 21,582 78.5 11,606 4,508 38.8
2009 38,869 25,507 65.6 26,562 20,705 77.9 12,307 4,802 39.0
Adult children
1999 56,482 37,703 66.8 41,496 32,463 78.2 14,986 5,240 35.0
2000 58,296 39,493 67.7 42,901 33,891 79.0 15,395 5,602 36.4
2001 57,715 38,897 67.4 41,975 33,181 79.0 15,740 5,716 36.3
2002 64,165 41,600 64.8 45,378 35,430 78.1 18,787 6,170 32.8
2003 68,254 42,960 62.9 46,358 36,270 78.2 21,896 6,690 30.6
2004 72,148 44,483 61.7 46,432 36,918 79.5 25,716 7,565 29.4
2005 74,085 46,111 62.2 48,045 38,467 80.1 26,040 7,644 29.4
2006 79,698 46,882 58.8 49,255 38,728 78.6 30,443 8,154 26.8
2007 88,884 51,358 57.8 53,527 41,759 78.0 35,357 9,599 27.1
2008 93,152 53,141 57.0 54,779 43,203 78.9 38,373 9,938 25.9
2009 98,936 52,128 52.7 53,183 41,150 77.4 45,753 10,978 24.0
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through June 2010.
Because a number of applications remain pending for more recent years, the allowance rate will change over time.
Applications with a medical decision may be pending a final nonmedical decision or be subsequently denied for nonmedical reasons.
Data from 1992 through 1998 are available for disabled workers only.
SSI = Supplemental Security Income.
a. Rate determined by dividing medical allowances by all medical decisions for that year.
b. Rate for the Social Security portion only.
CONTACT: (410) 965-0090 or statistics@ssa.gov.
Table 61. Medical decisions at the reconsideration level, by year of application and program, 1992–2009
Year All decisions Decisions on applications
for Social Security only
Decisions on applications
for both Social Security and SSI
Total Allowances Allowance
rate a
(percent)
Total Allowances Allowance
rate a
(percent)
Total Allowances Allowance
rate a, b
(percent)
All disabled beneficiaries
1999 397,127 58,602 14.8 209,682 33,223 15.8 187,445 25,379 13.5
2000 407,758 55,631 13.6 214,965 31,473 14.6 192,793 24,158 12.5
2001 434,185 55,494 12.8 221,720 30,807 13.9 212,465 24,687 11.6
2002 502,525 57,466 11.4 249,874 31,216 12.5 252,651 26,250 10.4
2003 543,036 57,871 10.7 258,383 30,347 11.7 284,653 27,524 9.7
2004 558,606 56,533 10.1 255,243 28,939 11.3 303,363 27,594 9.1
2005 514,265 51,023 9.9 231,216 26,340 11.4 283,049 24,683 8.7
2006 514,366 50,459 9.8 227,838 25,904 11.4 286,528 24,555 8.6
2007 519,156 57,597 11.1 224,345 30,110 13.4 294,811 27,487 9.3
2008 544,716 58,819 10.8 221,311 29,793 13.5 323,405 29,026 9.0
2009 559,089 45,812 8.2 231,789 24,396 10.5 327,300 21,416 6.5
Workers
1992 419,798 53,881 12.8 190,594 25,352 13.3 229,204 28,529 12.4
1993 469,151 58,275 12.4 206,606 27,306 13.2 262,545 30,969 11.8
1994 489,731 62,757 12.8 226,013 31,468 13.9 263,718 31,289 11.9
1995 458,036 60,584 13.2 218,950 31,563 14.4 239,086 29,021 12.1
1996 464,582 65,466 14.1 226,333 33,596 14.8 238,249 31,870 13.4
1997 403,225 59,978 14.9 206,148 33,373 16.2 197,077 26,605 13.5
1998 384,997 61,742 16.0 199,292 34,043 17.1 185,705 27,699 14.9
1999 384,286 55,272 14.4 202,999 31,712 15.6 181,287 23,560 13.0
2000 396,216 52,794 13.3 208,638 30,189 14.5 187,578 22,605 12.1
2001 422,937 52,905 12.5 215,591 29,647 13.8 207,346 23,258 11.2
2002 489,976 54,976 11.2 243,261 30,159 12.4 246,715 24,817 10.1
2003 529,774 55,341 10.4 252,225 29,350 11.6 277,549 25,991 9.4
2004 545,123 54,086 9.9 249,512 28,030 11.2 295,611 26,056 8.8
2005 501,326 48,651 9.7 225,652 25,480 11.3 275,674 23,171 8.4
2006 500,820 48,032 9.6 222,374 25,120 11.3 278,446 22,912 8.2
2007 503,354 55,099 10.9 218,560 29,251 13.4 284,794 25,848 9.1
2008 526,679 56,600 10.7 215,721 29,004 13.4 310,958 27,596 8.9
2009 541,600 44,158 8.2 226,824 23,826 10.5 314,776 20,332 6.5
Widow(er)s
1999 7,125 1,962 27.5 4,114 895 21.8 3,011 1,067 35.4
2000 6,379 1,572 24.6 3,872 734 19.0 2,507 838 33.4
2001 6,212 1,582 25.5 3,865 728 18.8 2,347 854 36.4
2002 6,461 1,394 21.6 4,041 650 16.1 2,420 744 30.7
2003 6,707 1,379 20.6 3,857 637 16.5 2,850 742 26.0
2004 6,497 1,351 20.8 3,472 566 16.3 3,025 785 26.0
2005 6,140 1,225 20.0 3,351 527 15.7 2,789 698 25.0
2006 6,002 1,174 19.6 3,128 439 14.0 2,874 735 25.6
2007 5,973 1,108 18.6 2,906 460 15.8 3,067 648 21.1
2008 6,183 875 14.2 2,720 377 13.9 3,463 498 14.4
2009 5,771 697 12.1 2,461 294 11.9 3,310 403 12.2
Adult children
1999 5,716 1,368 23.9 2,569 616 24.0 3,147 752 23.9
2000 5,163 1,265 24.5 2,455 550 22.4 2,708 715 26.4
2001 5,036 1,007 20.0 2,264 432 19.1 2,772 575 20.7
2002 6,088 1,096 18.0 2,572 407 15.8 3,516 689 19.6
2003 6,555 1,151 17.6 2,301 360 15.6 4,254 791 18.6
2004 6,986 1,096 15.7 2,259 343 15.2 4,727 753 15.9
2005 6,799 1,147 16.9 2,213 333 15.0 4,586 814 17.7
2006 7,544 1,253 16.6 2,336 345 14.8 5,208 908 17.4
2007 9,829 1,390 14.1 2,879 399 13.9 6,950 991 14.3
2008 11,854 1,344 11.3 2,870 412 14.4 8,984 932 10.4
2009 11,718 957 8.2 2,504 276 11.0 9,214 681 7.4
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through June 2010.
Because a number of applications remain pending for more recent years, the allowance rate will change over time.
Applications with a medical decision may be pending a final nonmedical decision or be subsequently denied for nonmedical reasons.
A revised process was introduced on October 1, 1999, in 10 states, under which initial denials could be appealed directly to the hearing level without a reconsideration.
Data from 1992 through 1998 are available for disabled workers only.
SSI = Supplemental Security Income.
a. Rate determined by dividing medical allowances by all medical decisions for that year.
b. Rate for the Social Security portion only.
CONTACT: (410) 965-0090 or statistics@ssa.gov.
Table 62. Medical decisions at the hearing level or above, by year of application and program, 1992–2009
Year All decisions Decisions on applications
for Social Security only
Decisions on applications
for both Social Security and SSI
Total Allowances Allowance
rate a
(percent)
Total Allowances Allowance
rate a
(percent)
Total Allowances Allowance
rate a, b
(percent)
All disabled beneficiaries
1999 265,058 193,198 72.9 144,847 114,207 78.8 120,211 78,991 65.7
2000 290,068 211,696 73.0 157,001 124,015 79.0 133,067 87,681 65.9
2001 313,839 228,226 72.7 164,710 130,570 79.3 149,129 97,656 65.5
2002 369,909 267,547 72.3 189,697 150,812 79.5 180,212 116,735 64.8
2003 401,256 289,024 72.0 197,558 157,481 79.7 203,698 131,543 64.6
2004 413,530 299,437 72.4 195,964 158,510 80.9 217,566 140,927 64.8
2005 379,670 279,193 73.5 176,465 144,065 81.6 203,205 135,128 66.5
2006 374,152 272,110 72.7 171,472 139,456 81.3 202,680 132,654 65.4
2007 353,376 262,190 74.2 158,075 131,097 82.9 195,301 131,093 67.1
2008 307,742 228,739 74.3 134,818 112,533 83.5 172,924 116,206 67.2
2009 133,852 102,954 76.9 66,672 56,849 85.3 67,180 46,105 68.6
Workers
1992 275,863 201,359 73.0 131,624 105,371 80.1 144,239 95,988 66.5
1993 310,655 217,816 70.1 143,997 112,593 78.2 166,658 105,223 63.1
1994 323,607 220,645 68.2 156,458 119,338 76.3 167,149 101,307 60.6
1995 301,917 202,739 67.2 150,882 113,781 75.4 151,035 88,958 58.9
1996 306,245 204,704 66.8 157,790 116,292 73.7 148,455 88,412 59.6
1997 267,288 186,278 69.7 141,021 107,539 76.3 126,267 78,739 62.4
1998 251,486 179,107 71.2 134,883 104,763 77.7 116,603 74,344 63.8
1999 260,850 190,326 73.0 141,671 111,954 79.0 119,179 78,372 65.8
2000 285,620 208,667 73.1 153,649 121,651 79.2 131,971 87,016 65.9
2001 309,372 225,198 72.8 161,335 128,208 79.5 148,037 96,990 65.5
2002 364,658 263,968 72.4 185,829 148,051 79.7 178,829 115,917 64.8
2003 395,846 285,451 72.1 194,015 154,975 79.9 201,831 130,476 64.6
2004 408,350 296,000 72.5 192,730 156,163 81.0 215,620 139,837 64.9
2005 374,578 275,637 73.6 173,247 141,638 81.8 201,331 133,999 66.6
2006 368,999 268,615 72.8 168,290 137,164 81.5 200,709 131,451 65.5
2007 346,268 257,678 74.4 154,929 128,815 83.1 191,339 128,863 67.3
2008 299,645 223,666 74.6 131,980 110,421 83.7 167,665 113,245 67.5
2009 130,371 100,667 77.2 65,382 55,829 85.4 64,989 44,838 69.0
Widow(er)s
1999 3,027 2,285 75.5 2,325 1,794 77.2 702 491 69.9
2000 3,140 2,388 76.1 2,414 1,870 77.5 726 518 71.3
2001 3,046 2,344 77.0 2,391 1,862 77.9 655 482 73.6
2002 3,471 2,690 77.5 2,679 2,113 78.9 792 577 72.9
2003 3,538 2,684 75.9 2,447 1,915 78.3 1,091 769 70.5
2004 3,243 2,552 78.7 2,201 1,787 81.2 1,042 765 73.4
2005 3,187 2,555 80.2 2,165 1,794 82.9 1,022 761 74.5
2006 3,127 2,536 81.1 2,055 1,704 82.9 1,072 832 77.6
2007 3,421 2,772 81.0 1,846 1,548 83.9 1,575 1,224 77.7
2008 3,517 2,864 81.4 1,647 1,398 84.9 1,870 1,466 78.4
2009 1,683 1,409 83.7 835 740 88.6 848 669 78.9
Adult children
1999 1,181 587 49.7 851 459 53.9 330 128 38.8
2000 1,308 641 49.0 938 494 52.7 370 147 39.7
2001 1,421 684 48.1 984 500 50.8 437 184 42.1
2002 1,780 889 49.9 1,189 648 54.5 591 241 40.8
2003 1,872 889 47.5 1,096 591 53.9 776 298 38.4
2004 1,937 885 45.7 1,033 560 54.2 904 325 36.0
2005 1,905 1,001 52.5 1,053 633 60.1 852 368 43.2
2006 2,026 959 47.3 1,127 588 52.2 899 371 41.3
2007 3,687 1,740 47.2 1,300 734 56.5 2,387 1,006 42.1
2008 4,580 2,209 48.2 1,191 714 59.9 3,389 1,495 44.1
2009 1,798 878 48.8 455 280 61.5 1,343 598 44.5
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through October 2010.
Because a number of applications remain pending for more recent years, the allowance rate will change over time.
Applications with a medical decision may be pending a final nonmedical decision or be subsequently denied for nonmedical reasons.
A revised process was introduced on October 1, 1999, in 10 states, under which initial denials could be appealed directly to the hearing level without a reconsideration.
Data from 1992 through 1998 are available for disabled workers only.
SSI = Supplemental Security Income.
a. Rate determined by dividing medical allowances by all medical decisions for that year.
b. Rate for the Social Security portion only.
CONTACT: (410) 965-0090 or statistics@ssa.gov.
Table 63. Number and percentage distribution of final medical allowances, by year of application and reason for allowance, 1992–2009
Year Total Meets level
of severity
of listings
Equals level
of severity
of listings
Medical and
vocational
factors
considered
Other a
Number Percent
All disabled beneficiaries
1999 708,797 100.0 33.0 5.9 26.9 34.2
2000 766,046 100.0 31.1 6.2 29.2 33.5
2001 840,526 100.0 30.0 6.1 30.1 33.9
2002 898,093 100.0 28.5 5.3 30.1 36.1
2003 928,652 100.0 27.1 5.1 31.1 36.7
2004 956,510 100.0 26.5 5.0 31.6 36.9
2005 901,605 100.0 26.7 4.7 32.2 36.4
2006 880,664 100.0 26.7 4.6 32.2 36.5
2007 898,888 100.0 26.5 4.7 33.3 35.6
2008 911,444 100.0 27.0 5.5 36.1 31.4
2009 846,290 100.0 30.6 6.5 43.9 19.0
Workers
1992 689,111 100.0 34.3 11.1 24.3 30.3
1993 695,007 100.0 34.3 8.7 23.6 33.4
1994 671,791 100.0 34.5 6.9 25.6 32.9
1995 628,380 100.0 34.5 6.7 26.8 31.9
1996 652,221 100.0 34.2 7.0 27.4 31.5
1997 602,277 100.0 35.0 7.5 26.4 31.1
1998 613,181 100.0 35.5 6.6 26.9 31.0
1999 640,065 100.0 33.6 6.3 28.3 31.9
2000 695,006 100.0 31.7 6.5 30.6 31.2
2001 769,861 100.0 30.5 6.4 31.3 31.8
2002 823,934 100.0 29.0 5.6 31.4 34.0
2003 853,663 100.0 27.5 5.3 32.5 34.8
2004 879,604 100.0 26.8 5.2 33.0 34.9
2005 823,461 100.0 27.2 4.9 33.9 34.0
2006 802,429 100.0 27.2 4.8 33.9 34.1
2007 815,100 100.0 27.0 4.9 35.2 32.9
2008 824,988 100.0 27.5 5.8 38.4 28.3
2009 764,784 100.0 31.5 6.9 46.9 14.8
Widow(er)s
1999 29,108 100.0 14.9 2.5 24.6 58.0
2000 29,679 100.0 12.8 2.5 26.3 58.4
2001 30,113 100.0 12.3 2.6 27.0 58.1
2002 30,606 100.0 11.4 2.1 26.6 59.9
2003 30,016 100.0 10.8 2.2 26.2 60.8
2004 30,469 100.0 10.2 1.9 26.4 61.5
2005 29,935 100.0 9.9 1.7 25.8 62.7
2006 29,178 100.0 9.7 1.5 24.4 64.4
2007 29,340 100.0 9.2 1.6 24.5 64.6
2008 29,808 100.0 9.0 1.8 25.7 63.4
2009 27,591 100.0 9.2 2.1 28.8 59.9
Adult children
1999 39,624 100.0 35.9 3.2 7.4 53.5
2000 41,361 100.0 35.0 3.1 7.3 54.7
2001 40,552 100.0 33.0 3.0 8.0 56.0
2002 43,553 100.0 31.8 2.9 7.6 57.7
2003 44,973 100.0 31.0 2.7 8.2 58.1
2004 46,437 100.0 30.4 2.8 8.6 58.2
2005 48,209 100.0 28.8 2.5 8.4 60.3
2006 49,057 100.0 28.7 2.6 8.9 59.8
2007 54,448 100.0 28.5 2.6 9.1 59.8
2008 56,648 100.0 28.1 2.7 9.0 60.2
2009 53,915 100.0 29.1 2.9 9.8 58.2
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through June 2010. Data for the hearing level or above are current through October 2010.
Because a number of applications remain pending for more recent years, the numbers and percentages will change over time.
Applications with a medical decision may be pending a final nonmedical decision or be subsequently denied for nonmedical reasons.
Data include decisions for Social Security–only applications and applications for both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI); they do not include SSI-only claims.
Data from 1992 through 1998 are available for disabled workers only.
a. Includes applications for which the disability was previously established and those for which the basis for the determination is not available. The majority of applications for which the basis of determination is not available are cases allowed at or above the hearing level.
CONTACT: (410) 965-0090 or statistics@ssa.gov.
Table 64. Number and percentage distribution of final medical denials, by year of application and reason for denial, 1992–2009
Year Total Impairment did
not or is not
expected
to last
12 months
Impairment is
not severe
Able to do
usual past work
Able to do
other type
of work
Other a
Number Percent
All disabled beneficiaries
1999 450,051 100.0 10.2 17.8 28.3 30.8 12.9
2000 460,285 100.0 10.0 17.2 28.2 30.4 14.1
2001 500,429 100.0 9.2 16.7 28.0 31.1 14.9
2002 584,785 100.0 8.5 17.1 28.2 31.3 14.9
2003 636,667 100.0 7.5 17.7 28.2 31.7 14.9
2004 685,585 100.0 6.8 18.4 27.6 31.6 15.7
2005 650,015 100.0 6.5 19.2 26.7 31.4 16.3
2006 656,980 100.0 6.3 19.8 26.2 31.3 16.4
2007 630,387 100.0 6.4 20.5 26.2 30.6 16.4
2008 617,525 100.0 6.1 21.6 25.7 30.3 16.3
2009 655,030 100.0 5.2 22.4 25.0 30.2 17.0
Workers
1992 487,164 100.0 10.7 22.9 28.4 29.6 8.4
1993 546,532 100.0 10.4 22.7 27.6 29.8 9.5
1994 578,664 100.0 10.2 21.5 25.9 28.8 13.6
1995 547,145 100.0 10.6 20.8 25.4 29.4 13.8
1996 542,493 100.0 10.2 19.6 24.7 30.6 14.8
1997 453,676 100.0 10.6 18.5 25.7 30.5 14.6
1998 426,158 100.0 10.8 18.3 27.8 30.8 12.3
1999 423,494 100.0 10.6 17.4 29.3 30.1 12.6
2000 434,364 100.0 10.4 16.8 29.3 29.7 13.9
2001 474,551 100.0 9.5 16.4 29.0 30.4 14.7
2002 555,055 100.0 8.8 16.8 29.2 30.6 14.7
2003 603,655 100.0 7.7 17.4 29.2 31.0 14.6
2004 649,859 100.0 7.0 18.1 28.6 30.9 15.4
2005 614,498 100.0 6.7 19.0 27.7 30.6 16.0
2006 616,306 100.0 6.6 19.5 27.4 30.5 16.1
2007 587,435 100.0 6.7 20.2 27.6 29.6 15.9
2008 574,835 100.0 6.4 21.3 27.2 29.2 15.9
2009 608,999 100.0 5.5 22.3 26.5 29.0 16.7
Widow(er)s
1999 9,735 100.0 5.6 29.0 31.8 22.7 10.8
2000 9,024 100.0 5.3 29.0 31.4 22.3 12.1
2001 8,751 100.0 4.7 27.6 31.2 22.8 13.7
2002 9,151 100.0 4.7 26.2 32.4 23.7 13.0
2003 9,759 100.0 4.2 26.5 32.7 23.4 13.3
2004 10,045 100.0 3.5 26.6 32.1 23.4 14.4
2005 9,700 100.0 3.5 26.8 32.0 23.1 14.7
2006 10,127 100.0 3.7 25.9 31.3 23.4 15.7
2007 9,078 100.0 3.7 27.5 31.0 21.9 15.9
2008 8,514 100.0 3.6 27.4 30.6 21.9 16.5
2009 8,286 100.0 3.0 28.6 29.8 21.6 17.0
Adult children
1999 16,822 100.0 3.1 22.7 0.7 53.3 20.2
2000 16,897 100.0 2.8 22.9 0.7 51.9 21.7
2001 17,127 100.0 2.5 21.3 0.9 52.9 22.3
2002 20,579 100.0 2.3 21.6 0.8 53.6 21.7
2003 23,253 100.0 2.0 21.8 0.7 53.6 21.9
2004 25,681 100.0 1.9 22.1 0.5 52.5 23.0
2005 25,817 100.0 1.8 21.1 0.4 53.1 23.6
2006 30,547 100.0 1.8 23.5 0.4 50.6 23.8
2007 33,874 100.0 1.6 23.9 0.3 49.9 24.3
2008 34,176 100.0 1.5 24.8 0.2 50.5 23.0
2009 37,745 100.0 1.3 23.3 0.1 51.9 23.4
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through June 2010. Data for the hearing level or above are current through October 2010.
Because a number of applications remain pending for more recent years, the numbers and percentages will change over time.
Applications with a medical decision may be pending a final nonmedical decision or be subsequently denied for nonmedical reasons.
Data include decisions for Social Security–only applications and applications for both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI); they do not include SSI-only claims.
Data from 1992 through 1998 are available for disabled workers only.
a. Applicant has an impairment resulting from drug addiction or alcoholism, provided insufficient medical evidence, failed to cooperate, failed to follow prescribed treatment, did not want to continue development of the claim, or returned to substantial work before disability could be established. Also includes cases denied at or above the hearing level for which the basis of determination is not available.
CONTACT: (410) 965-0090 or statistics@ssa.gov.