Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2008

 

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits

Note

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 decisionmaking 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 decisionmaking 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 decisionmakers. 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, 1998–2007

The final award rate for disabled-worker applicants has varied over time, averaging nearly 46 percent for claims filed from 1998 through 2007. The percentage of applicants awarded benefits at the initial claims level averaged 31 percent over the same period and ranged from a high of about 35 percent to a low of 24 percent. The percentage of applicants awarded at the reconsideration and hearing levels are averaging 4 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Denied disability claims have averaged over 51 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, 1992–2007
Year Total Pending
final
decision
Technical
denials a
Medical decisions Award
rate b
(percent)
Allowance
rate c
(percent)
Denials Allowances
Medical Subsequent
nonmedical d
Awards Subsequent
denials e
All disabled beneficiaries
1999 1,265,055 0 104,379 446,226 4,062 708,530 1,858 56.0 61.3
2000 1,364,396 0 136,148 459,454 3,828 763,027 1,939 55.9 62.4
2001 1,513,536 2,238 170,553 497,888 3,587 837,336 1,934 55.4 62.7
2002 1,716,221 3,235 231,077 581,969 4,075 893,766 2,099 52.2 60.5
2003 1,942,433 6,261 374,288 632,278 4,500 923,032 2,074 47.7 59.3
2004 2,262,548 15,608 616,764 675,565 5,707 947,258 1,646 42.2 58.3
2005 2,087,418 46,849 529,475 630,043 7,073 871,979 1,999 42.7 57.9
2006 2,158,367 186,203 611,442 599,756 7,612 751,390 1,964 38.1 55.4
2007 2,197,193 296,058 651,411 590,940 8,404 648,378 2,002 34.1 52.1
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 1,167,664 0 102,353 419,716 4,014 639,795 1,786 54.8 60.3
2000 1,265,214 0 134,041 433,542 3,793 691,966 1,872 54.7 61.4
2001 1,414,598 2,180 168,265 472,076 3,544 766,654 1,879 54.3 61.9
2002 1,609,612 3,120 228,465 552,337 4,019 819,623 2,048 51.0 59.7
2003 1,831,314 6,061 371,317 599,431 4,442 848,060 2,003 46.5 58.5
2004 2,145,775 15,454 612,724 639,915 5,654 870,433 1,595 40.9 57.5
2005 1,969,765 46,331 525,566 594,730 6,979 794,234 1,925 41.3 57.0
2006 2,037,326 184,002 606,681 559,154 7,501 678,083 1,905 36.6 54.6
2007 2,073,668 292,113 646,240 546,993 8,288 578,092 1,942 32.4 51.2
Widow(er)s
1999 40,055 0 1,173 9,717 17 29,111 37 72.7 75.0
2000 39,996 0 1,258 9,035 11 29,663 29 74.2 76.7
2001 40,238 31 1,344 8,722 13 30,109 19 74.9 77.6
2002 41,325 56 1,539 9,117 18 30,576 19 74.1 77.0
2003 41,473 106 1,645 9,668 24 29,986 44 72.5 75.7
2004 42,626 68 2,073 10,022 22 30,417 24 71.5 75.2
2005 41,559 229 1,894 9,641 27 29,744 24 72.0 75.5
2006 40,994 1,151 2,188 10,352 42 27,239 22 68.4 72.4
2007 38,827 1,864 2,189 10,025 27 24,696 26 66.8 71.1
Adult children
1999 57,336 0 853 16,793 31 39,624 35 69.1 70.3
2000 59,186 0 849 16,877 24 41,398 38 69.9 71.1
2001 58,700 27 944 17,090 30 40,573 36 69.2 70.4
2002 65,284 59 1,073 20,515 38 43,567 32 66.8 68.0
2003 69,646 94 1,326 23,179 34 44,986 27 64.7 66.0
2004 74,147 86 1,967 25,628 31 46,408 27 62.7 64.4
2005 76,094 289 2,015 25,672 67 48,001 50 63.3 65.2
2006 80,047 1,050 2,573 30,250 69 46,068 37 58.3 60.4
2007 84,698 2,081 2,982 33,922 89 45,590 34 55.2 57.3
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for all levels are current through August 2008.
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 to 1998 are available for disabled workers only.
a. Applications were denied for nonmedical reasons; therefore no decision was made on severity of impairment.
b. Rate determined by dividing awards by all applications minus pending claims for that year.
c. Rate determined by dividing medical allowances by all medical decisions for that year.
d. Applications were denied for nonmedical reasons after a decision was made that the applicant did not meet the medical severity criteria for disability benefits.
e. Applications were denied for nonmedical reasons after a decision was made that the applicant met the medical severity criteria for disability benefits.
CONTACT: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or di.asr@ssa.gov.
Table 60. Medical decisions at the initial adjudicative level, by year of application and program, 1992–2007
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 1,160,676 459,999 39.6 649,867 313,676 48.3 510,809 146,323 28.6
2000 1,228,248 501,947 40.9 688,233 340,331 49.4 540,015 161,616 29.9
2001 1,342,953 560,106 41.7 742,911 379,872 51.1 600,042 180,234 30.0
2002 1,485,088 576,919 38.8 795,129 386,247 48.6 689,959 190,672 27.6
2003 1,568,038 585,868 37.4 805,022 384,055 47.7 763,016 201,813 26.4
2004 1,645,554 603,918 36.7 813,146 388,749 47.8 832,408 215,169 25.8
2005 1,557,437 574,476 36.9 761,720 369,844 48.6 795,717 204,632 25.7
2006 1,545,009 556,490 36.0 745,388 358,500 48.1 799,621 197,990 24.8
2007 1,542,257 562,460 36.5 738,930 361,496 48.9 803,327 200,964 25.0
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 1,065,311 397,335 37.3 578,768 259,910 44.9 486,543 137,425 28.2
2000 1,131,173 436,606 38.6 615,411 284,388 46.2 515,762 152,218 29.5
2001 1,246,306 494,907 39.7 670,614 324,189 48.3 575,692 170,718 29.7
2002 1,381,094 508,659 36.8 718,640 327,949 45.6 662,454 180,710 27.3
2003 1,459,894 516,756 35.4 728,228 325,430 44.7 731,666 191,326 26.1
2004 1,532,823 532,755 34.8 736,987 329,523 44.7 795,836 203,232 25.5
2005 1,443,702 502,158 34.8 684,393 309,362 45.2 759,309 192,796 25.4
2006 1,428,755 486,915 34.1 670,269 300,853 44.9 758,486 186,062 24.5
2007 1,423,971 494,352 34.7 666,052 306,560 46.0 757,919 187,792 24.8
Widow(er)s
1999 38,882 24,933 64.1 29,602 21,291 71.9 9,280 3,642 39.2
2000 38,738 25,781 66.6 29,880 21,997 73.6 8,858 3,784 42.7
2001 38,894 26,242 67.5 30,284 22,458 74.2 8,610 3,784 43.9
2002 39,785 26,588 66.8 31,067 22,815 73.4 8,718 3,773 43.3
2003 39,827 26,054 65.4 30,372 22,274 73.3 9,455 3,780 40.0
2004 40,552 26,634 65.7 29,696 22,264 75.0 10,856 4,370 40.3
2005 39,663 26,216 66.1 29,295 22,028 75.2 10,368 4,188 40.4
2006 38,799 24,890 64.2 27,960 20,932 74.9 10,839 3,958 36.5
2007 36,624 23,507 64.2 25,732 19,432 75.5 10,892 4,075 37.4
Adult children
1999 56,483 37,731 66.8 41,497 32,475 78.3 14,986 5,256 35.1
2000 58,337 39,560 67.8 42,942 33,946 79.1 15,395 5,614 36.5
2001 57,753 38,957 67.5 42,013 33,225 79.1 15,740 5,732 36.4
2002 64,209 41,672 64.9 45,422 35,483 78.1 18,787 6,189 32.9
2003 68,317 43,058 63.0 46,422 36,351 78.3 21,895 6,707 30.6
2004 72,179 44,529 61.7 46,463 36,962 79.6 25,716 7,567 29.4
2005 74,072 46,102 62.2 48,032 38,454 80.1 26,040 7,648 29.4
2006 77,455 44,685 57.7 47,159 36,715 77.9 30,296 7,970 26.3
2007 81,662 44,601 54.6 47,146 35,504 75.3 34,516 9,097 26.4
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through August 2008.
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 to 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: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or di.asr@ssa.gov.
Table 61. Medical decisions at the reconsideration level, by year of application and program, 1992–2007
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 398,203 61,143 15.4 210,376 34,724 16.5 187,827 26,419 14.1
2000 408,565 58,590 14.3 215,482 33,233 15.4 193,083 25,357 13.1
2001 435,208 58,417 13.4 222,328 32,590 14.7 212,880 25,827 12.1
2002 502,663 60,482 12.0 250,205 32,881 13.1 252,458 27,601 10.9
2003 542,627 60,471 11.1 258,479 31,725 12.3 284,148 28,746 10.1
2004 555,232 57,711 10.4 253,901 29,625 11.7 301,331 28,086 9.3
2005 508,976 50,961 10.0 228,569 26,389 11.5 280,407 24,572 8.8
2006 507,294 50,367 9.9 223,285 26,329 11.8 284,009 24,038 8.5
2007 470,616 50,010 10.6 203,657 26,828 13.2 266,959 23,182 8.7
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 385,426 57,808 15.0 203,713 33,192 16.3 181,713 24,616 13.5
2000 397,069 55,762 14.0 209,184 31,946 15.3 187,885 23,816 12.7
2001 424,031 55,822 13.2 216,229 31,420 14.5 207,802 24,402 11.7
2002 490,217 57,961 11.8 243,638 31,809 13.1 246,579 26,152 10.6
2003 529,468 57,885 10.9 252,369 30,711 12.2 277,099 27,174 9.8
2004 541,872 55,259 10.2 248,232 28,707 11.6 293,640 26,552 9.0
2005 496,180 48,638 9.8 223,075 25,537 11.4 273,105 23,101 8.5
2006 494,338 48,497 9.8 218,158 25,621 11.7 276,180 22,876 8.3
2007 458,277 48,316 10.5 199,004 26,169 13.1 259,273 22,147 8.5
Widow(er)s
1999 7,109 1,983 27.9 4,109 917 22.3 3,000 1,066 35.5
2000 6,354 1,574 24.8 3,855 738 19.1 2,499 836 33.5
2001 6,192 1,599 25.8 3,859 741 19.2 2,333 858 36.8
2002 6,415 1,435 22.4 4,014 667 16.6 2,401 768 32.0
2003 6,661 1,443 21.7 3,834 660 17.2 2,827 783 27.7
2004 6,434 1,371 21.3 3,440 583 16.9 2,994 788 26.3
2005 6,065 1,209 19.9 3,306 522 15.8 2,759 687 24.9
2006 5,766 913 15.8 2,944 411 14.0 2,822 502 17.8
2007 4,970 787 15.8 2,408 366 15.2 2,562 421 16.4
Adult children
1999 5,668 1,352 23.9 2,554 615 24.1 3,114 737 23.7
2000 5,142 1,254 24.4 2,443 549 22.5 2,699 705 26.1
2001 4,985 996 20.0 2,240 429 19.2 2,745 567 20.7
2002 6,031 1,086 18.0 2,553 405 15.9 3,478 681 19.6
2003 6,498 1,143 17.6 2,276 354 15.6 4,222 789 18.7
2004 6,926 1,081 15.6 2,229 335 15.0 4,697 746 15.9
2005 6,731 1,114 16.6 2,188 330 15.1 4,543 784 17.3
2006 7,190 957 13.3 2,183 297 13.6 5,007 660 13.2
2007 7,369 907 12.3 2,245 293 13.1 5,124 614 12.0
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through August 2008.
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 to 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: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or di.asr@ssa.gov.
Table 62. Medical decisions at the hearing level or above, by year of application and program, 1992–2007
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 263,812 189,246 71.7 144,168 112,122 77.8 119,644 77,124 64.5
2000 287,898 204,429 71.0 155,781 120,124 77.1 132,117 84,305 63.8
2001 309,920 220,747 71.2 162,661 126,719 77.9 147,259 94,028 63.9
2002 363,866 258,464 71.0 186,997 146,434 78.3 176,869 112,030 63.3
2003 392,496 278,767 71.0 193,924 152,873 78.8 198,572 125,894 63.4
2004 395,405 287,275 72.7 188,734 153,357 81.3 206,671 133,918 64.8
2005 332,110 248,541 74.8 156,973 129,913 82.8 175,137 118,628 67.7
2006 193,617 146,497 75.7 93,405 77,951 83.5 100,212 68,546 68.4
2007 46,513 37,910 81.5 25,140 22,268 88.6 21,373 15,642 73.2
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 259,678 186,438 71.8 141,045 109,930 77.9 118,633 76,508 64.5
2000 283,501 201,470 71.1 152,469 117,815 77.3 131,032 83,655 63.8
2001 305,589 217,804 71.3 159,371 124,408 78.1 146,218 93,396 63.9
2002 358,868 255,051 71.1 183,246 143,754 78.4 175,622 111,297 63.4
2003 387,487 275,422 71.1 190,550 150,468 79.0 196,937 124,954 63.4
2004 390,522 284,014 72.7 185,672 151,122 81.4 204,850 132,892 64.9
2005 327,623 245,363 74.9 154,133 127,740 82.9 173,490 117,623 67.8
2006 190,889 144,576 75.7 91,738 76,699 83.6 99,151 67,877 68.5
2007 45,786 37,366 81.6 24,672 21,893 88.7 21,114 15,473 73.3
Widow(er)s
1999 2,978 2,232 74.9 2,288 1,747 76.4 690 485 70.3
2000 3,105 2,337 75.3 2,386 1,829 76.7 719 508 70.7
2001 2,971 2,287 77.0 2,339 1,823 77.9 632 464 73.4
2002 3,324 2,572 77.4 2,610 2,058 78.9 714 514 72.0
2003 3,302 2,533 76.7 2,341 1,850 79.0 961 683 71.1
2004 3,092 2,436 78.8 2,107 1,707 81.0 985 729 74.0
2005 2,909 2,343 80.5 1,971 1,650 83.7 938 693 73.9
2006 1,786 1,458 81.6 1,165 982 84.3 621 476 76.7
2007 494 428 86.6 345 306 88.7 149 122 81.9
Adult children
1999 1,156 576 49.8 835 445 53.3 321 131 40.8
2000 1,292 622 48.1 926 480 51.8 366 142 38.8
2001 1,360 656 48.2 951 488 51.3 409 168 41.1
2002 1,674 841 50.2 1,141 622 54.5 533 219 41.1
2003 1,707 812 47.6 1,033 555 53.7 674 257 38.1
2004 1,791 825 46.1 955 528 55.3 836 297 35.5
2005 1,578 835 52.9 869 523 60.2 709 312 44.0
2006 942 463 49.2 502 270 53.8 440 193 43.9
2007 233 116 49.8 123 69 56.1 110 47 42.7
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through August 2008.
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 to 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: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or di.asr@ssa.gov.
Table 63. Percentage distribution of final medical allowances, by year of application and reason for allowance, 1992–2007
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 708,530 100.0 33.0 5.9 27.0 34.1
2000 763,027 100.0 31.3 6.2 29.3 33.2
2001 837,336 100.0 30.1 6.1 30.2 33.6
2002 893,766 100.0 28.7 5.4 30.3 35.7
2003 923,032 100.0 27.3 5.1 31.3 36.3
2004 947,258 100.0 26.8 5.0 32.0 36.3
2005 871,979 100.0 27.6 4.8 33.3 34.2
2006 751,390 100.0 31.1 5.3 37.4 26.1
2007 648,378 100.0 35.9 6.2 43.9 14.0
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 639,795 100.0 33.6 6.3 28.3 31.8
2000 691,966 100.0 31.8 6.6 30.8 30.8
2001 766,654 100.0 30.6 6.4 31.5 31.5
2002 819,623 100.0 29.1 5.6 31.6 33.6
2003 848,060 100.0 27.7 5.3 32.7 34.3
2004 870,433 100.0 27.1 5.2 33.4 34.2
2005 794,234 100.0 28.2 5.1 35.1 31.6
2006 678,083 100.0 32.0 5.6 39.8 22.5
2007 578,092 100.0 37.2 6.7 47.2 8.9
Widow(er)s
1999 29,111 100.0 14.9 2.5 24.6 58.0
2000 29,663 100.0 12.8 2.5 26.3 58.4
2001 30,109 100.0 12.3 2.6 27.0 58.1
2002 30,576 100.0 11.5 2.1 26.6 59.9
2003 29,986 100.0 10.8 2.2 26.2 60.7
2004 30,417 100.0 10.2 1.9 26.4 61.4
2005 29,744 100.0 9.9 1.7 26.0 62.4
2006 27,239 100.0 10.3 1.6 26.0 62.1
2007 24,696 100.0 10.6 1.8 27.9 59.7
Adult children
1999 39,624 100.0 35.9 3.2 7.4 53.5
2000 41,398 100.0 35.0 3.1 7.3 54.7
2001 40,573 100.0 33.0 3.0 8.0 56.0
2002 43,567 100.0 31.7 2.9 7.6 57.7
2003 44,986 100.0 31.0 2.7 8.2 58.1
2004 46,408 100.0 30.4 2.8 8.6 58.2
2005 48,001 100.0 28.9 2.5 8.4 60.1
2006 46,068 100.0 30.2 2.7 9.3 57.8
2007 45,590 100.0 32.8 3.0 10.0 54.2
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for all levels are current through August 2008.
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 to 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: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or di.asr@ssa.gov.
Table 64. Percentage distribution of final medical denials, by year of application and reason for denial, 1992–2007
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 450,288 100.0 10.2 17.8 28.3 30.9 12.8
2000 463,282 100.0 10.0 17.2 28.3 30.5 14.0
2001 501,475 100.0 9.2 16.7 28.1 31.2 14.8
2002 586,044 100.0 8.5 17.1 28.3 31.4 14.8
2003 636,778 100.0 7.5 17.6 28.3 31.8 14.8
2004 681,272 100.0 6.8 18.4 27.6 31.6 15.7
2005 637,116 100.0 6.6 19.1 26.6 31.2 16.5
2006 607,368 100.0 6.5 19.7 26.0 30.5 17.3
2007 599,344 100.0 6.6 19.5 26.4 30.4 17.1
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 423,730 100.0 10.6 17.4 29.3 30.1 12.5
2000 437,335 100.0 10.4 16.7 29.3 29.8 13.7
2001 475,620 100.0 9.5 16.3 29.0 30.5 14.6
2002 556,356 100.0 8.8 16.8 29.2 30.7 14.6
2003 603,873 100.0 7.7 17.3 29.3 31.1 14.6
2004 645,569 100.0 7.1 18.1 28.6 30.8 15.4
2005 601,709 100.0 6.8 18.9 27.6 30.4 16.3
2006 566,655 100.0 6.8 19.4 27.3 29.6 17.0
2007 555,281 100.0 7.0 19.1 27.9 29.3 16.7
Widow(er)s
1999 9,734 100.0 5.6 29.1 31.8 22.7 10.8
2000 9,046 100.0 5.3 28.9 31.4 22.4 12.0
2001 8,735 100.0 4.6 27.6 31.2 22.9 13.6
2002 9,135 100.0 4.7 26.2 32.4 23.7 13.0
2003 9,692 100.0 4.2 26.5 32.7 23.4 13.3
2004 10,044 100.0 3.5 26.5 32.2 23.4 14.4
2005 9,668 100.0 3.5 26.6 32.0 23.1 14.7
2006 10,394 100.0 3.8 25.1 31.6 24.1 15.4
2007 10,052 100.0 3.9 25.0 32.1 24.3 14.7
Adult children
1999 16,824 100.0 3.1 22.7 0.7 53.3 20.2
2000 16,901 100.0 2.9 22.9 0.7 51.9 21.6
2001 17,120 100.0 2.5 21.3 0.9 52.9 22.3
2002 20,553 100.0 2.3 21.6 0.8 53.5 21.7
2003 23,213 100.0 2.0 21.8 0.7 53.6 21.9
2004 25,659 100.0 1.9 22.0 0.5 52.5 23.0
2005 25,739 100.0 1.8 21.2 0.4 53.0 23.6
2006 30,319 100.0 1.8 23.3 0.4 50.6 23.9
2007 34,011 100.0 1.7 23.4 0.3 50.5 24.1
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for all levels are current through August 2008.
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 to 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: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or di.asr@ssa.gov.