Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2009

 

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, 1999–2008

The final award rate for disabled-worker applicants has varied over time, averaging nearly 45 percent for claims filed from 1999 through 2008. The percentage of applicants awarded benefits at the initial claims level averaged 28 percent over the same period and ranged from a high of 35 percent to a low of 24 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, 1992–2008
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 1,265,037 0 104,332 445,995 4,056 708,797 1,857 56.0 61.3
2000 1,364,323 0 136,071 458,257 3,820 764,237 1,938 56.0 62.5
2001 1,513,411 0 170,543 498,814 3,581 838,538 1,935 55.4 62.7
2002 1,716,044 4,176 231,002 578,636 4,072 896,059 2,099 52.3 60.7
2003 1,942,210 5,618 374,190 629,481 4,491 926,357 2,073 47.8 59.5
2004 2,262,363 10,018 616,662 675,150 5,687 953,200 1,646 42.3 58.4
2005 2,087,956 17,512 529,551 634,420 7,035 897,447 1,991 43.3 58.4
2006 2,164,544 42,780 611,906 631,205 7,368 869,334 1,951 41.0 57.8
2007 2,210,490 149,416 651,762 588,282 8,209 810,943 1,878 39.3 57.8
2008 2,327,840 325,865 714,778 558,980 9,501 716,800 1,916 35.8 55.9
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 0 133,964 432,341 3,785 693,227 1,871 54.8 61.5
2001 1,414,524 0 168,253 472,960 3,539 767,892 1,880 54.3 61.9
2002 1,609,492 4,046 228,392 549,052 4,016 821,938 2,048 51.2 59.9
2003 1,831,162 5,412 371,223 596,668 4,434 851,423 2,002 46.6 58.8
2004 2,145,633 9,879 612,623 639,567 5,634 876,335 1,595 41.0 57.7
2005 1,970,278 17,369 525,636 599,079 6,941 819,336 1,917 42.0 57.6
2006 2,040,683 42,264 607,131 590,879 7,260 791,258 1,891 39.6 57.1
2007 2,080,417 147,314 646,522 544,621 8,090 732,060 1,810 37.9 57.1
2008 2,196,906 320,266 709,280 515,172 9,376 640,958 1,854 34.2 55.2
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 9,027 11 29,665 29 74.2 76.7
2001 40,227 0 1,344 8,742 13 30,109 19 74.8 77.5
2002 41,316 65 1,539 9,089 18 30,586 19 74.1 77.1
2003 41,467 102 1,645 9,656 24 29,996 44 72.5 75.7
2004 42,615 52 2,073 9,987 22 30,457 24 71.6 75.3
2005 41,572 67 1,895 9,633 27 29,926 24 72.1 75.7
2006 41,577 221 2,195 10,004 38 29,096 23 70.4 74.4
2007 40,321 853 2,208 9,541 29 27,662 28 70.1 74.4
2008 40,013 2,220 2,308 9,127 33 26,304 21 69.6 74.2
Adult children
1999 57,334 0 854 16,791 31 39,624 34 69.1 70.3
2000 59,145 0 849 16,889 24 41,345 38 69.9 71.0
2001 58,660 0 946 17,112 29 40,537 36 69.1 70.3
2002 65,236 65 1,071 20,495 38 43,535 32 66.8 68.0
2003 69,581 104 1,322 23,157 33 44,938 27 64.7 66.0
2004 74,115 87 1,966 25,596 31 46,408 27 62.7 64.5
2005 76,106 76 2,020 25,708 67 48,185 50 63.4 65.2
2006 82,284 295 2,580 30,322 70 48,980 37 59.7 61.8
2007 89,752 1,249 3,032 34,120 90 51,221 40 57.9 60.0
2008 90,921 3,379 3,190 34,681 92 49,538 41 56.6 58.8
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for all levels are current through August 2009.
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, 1992–2008
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 1,228,328 500,657 40.8 688,309 339,764 49.4 540,019 160,893 29.8
2001 1,342,978 558,741 41.6 742,932 379,266 51.0 600,046 179,475 29.9
2002 1,484,999 575,179 38.7 795,034 385,515 48.5 689,965 189,664 27.5
2003 1,567,887 583,830 37.2 804,865 383,281 47.6 763,022 200,549 26.3
2004 1,645,513 602,185 36.6 813,100 388,017 47.7 832,413 214,168 25.7
2005 1,558,240 573,379 36.8 762,520 369,376 48.4 795,720 204,003 25.6
2006 1,552,248 560,044 36.1 752,186 362,063 48.1 800,062 197,981 24.7
2007 1,556,910 574,360 36.9 749,959 370,856 49.5 806,951 203,504 25.2
2008 1,608,524 609,498 37.9 761,339 389,744 51.2 847,185 219,754 25.9
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 1,131,297 435,416 38.5 615,531 283,906 46.1 515,766 151,510 29.4
2001 1,246,378 493,638 39.6 670,682 323,649 48.3 575,696 169,989 29.5
2002 1,381,057 507,038 36.7 718,597 327,298 45.5 662,460 179,740 27.1
2003 1,459,813 514,873 35.3 728,142 324,771 44.6 731,671 190,102 26.0
2004 1,532,823 531,112 34.6 736,982 328,863 44.6 795,841 202,249 25.4
2005 1,444,479 501,089 34.7 685,167 308,900 45.1 759,312 192,189 25.3
2006 1,433,170 487,671 34.0 674,409 301,954 44.8 758,761 185,717 24.5
2007 1,432,099 500,181 34.9 671,280 310,321 46.2 760,819 189,860 25.0
2008 1,483,171 536,134 36.1 684,852 330,436 48.2 798,319 205,698 25.8
Widow(er)s
1999 38,880 24,898 64.0 29,600 21,272 71.9 9,280 3,626 39.1
2000 38,734 25,748 66.5 29,876 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 38,110 24,934 65.4 27,125 20,695 76.3 10,985 4,239 38.6
2008 37,685 24,910 66.1 26,201 20,476 78.1 11,484 4,434 38.6
Adult children
1999 56,482 37,703 66.8 41,496 32,463 78.2 14,986 5,240 35.0
2000 58,297 39,493 67.7 42,902 33,891 79.0 15,395 5,602 36.4
2001 57,717 38,897 67.4 41,977 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 68,253 42,960 62.9 46,357 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 79,696 46,882 58.8 49,253 38,728 78.6 30,443 8,154 26.8
2007 86,701 49,245 56.8 51,554 39,840 77.3 35,147 9,405 26.8
2008 87,668 48,454 55.3 50,286 38,832 77.2 37,382 9,622 25.7
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through August 2009.
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, 1992–2008
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 407,785 56,257 13.8 214,992 31,762 14.8 192,793 24,495 12.7
2001 434,248 56,203 12.9 221,783 31,165 14.1 212,465 25,038 11.8
2002 502,504 58,640 11.7 249,853 31,726 12.7 252,651 26,914 10.7
2003 543,006 59,139 10.9 258,353 30,863 11.9 284,653 28,276 9.9
2004 558,569 56,981 10.2 255,206 29,141 11.4 303,363 27,840 9.2
2005 514,224 51,486 10.0 231,177 26,576 11.5 283,047 24,910 8.8
2006 514,298 51,365 10.0 227,770 26,330 11.6 286,528 25,035 8.7
2007 515,998 55,980 10.8 222,560 29,408 13.2 293,438 26,572 9.1
2008 477,967 46,232 9.7 197,719 24,173 12.2 280,248 22,059 7.9
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 396,240 53,410 13.5 208,662 30,469 14.6 187,578 22,941 12.2
2001 422,998 53,593 12.7 215,652 29,997 13.9 207,346 23,596 11.4
2002 489,955 56,101 11.5 243,240 30,657 12.6 246,715 25,444 10.3
2003 529,745 56,532 10.7 252,196 29,850 11.8 277,549 26,682 9.6
2004 545,086 54,504 10.0 249,475 28,224 11.3 295,611 26,280 8.9
2005 501,285 49,110 9.8 225,613 25,714 11.4 275,672 23,396 8.5
2006 500,754 48,931 9.8 222,308 25,541 11.5 278,446 23,390 8.4
2007 501,242 53,581 10.7 217,034 28,584 13.2 284,208 24,997 8.8
2008 464,873 44,629 9.6 193,275 23,579 12.2 271,598 21,050 7.8
Widow(er)s
1999 7,125 1,962 27.5 4,114 895 21.8 3,011 1,067 35.4
2000 6,381 1,578 24.7 3,874 739 19.1 2,507 839 33.5
2001 6,212 1,596 25.7 3,865 735 19.0 2,347 861 36.7
2002 6,461 1,432 22.2 4,041 660 16.3 2,420 772 31.9
2003 6,707 1,443 21.5 3,857 651 16.9 2,850 792 27.8
2004 6,497 1,372 21.1 3,472 572 16.5 3,025 800 26.4
2005 6,140 1,227 20.0 3,351 528 15.8 2,789 699 25.1
2006 6,002 1,181 19.7 3,128 444 14.2 2,874 737 25.6
2007 5,719 1,080 18.9 2,815 437 15.5 2,904 643 22.1
2008 4,891 687 14.0 2,243 304 13.6 2,648 383 14.5
Adult children
1999 5,716 1,368 23.9 2,569 616 24.0 3,147 752 23.9
2000 5,164 1,269 24.6 2,456 554 22.6 2,708 715 26.4
2001 5,038 1,014 20.1 2,266 433 19.1 2,772 581 21.0
2002 6,088 1,107 18.2 2,572 409 15.9 3,516 698 19.9
2003 6,554 1,164 17.8 2,300 362 15.7 4,254 802 18.9
2004 6,986 1,105 15.8 2,259 345 15.3 4,727 760 16.1
2005 6,799 1,149 16.9 2,213 334 15.1 4,586 815 17.8
2006 7,542 1,253 16.6 2,334 345 14.8 5,208 908 17.4
2007 9,037 1,319 14.6 2,711 387 14.3 6,326 932 14.7
2008 8,203 916 11.2 2,201 290 13.2 6,002 626 10.4
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through August 2009.
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, 1992–2008
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 289,469 209,261 72.3 156,739 122,797 78.3 132,730 86,464 65.1
2001 313,192 225,529 72.0 164,414 129,219 78.6 148,778 96,310 64.7
2002 364,609 264,339 72.5 187,441 149,336 79.7 177,168 115,003 64.9
2003 394,975 285,461 72.3 195,029 155,896 79.9 199,946 129,565 64.8
2004 404,989 295,680 73.0 192,612 156,865 81.4 212,377 138,815 65.4
2005 366,424 274,573 74.9 171,406 142,040 82.9 195,018 132,533 68.0
2006 343,423 259,876 75.7 160,197 134,216 83.8 183,226 125,660 68.6
2007 235,124 182,481 77.6 113,322 96,780 85.4 121,802 85,701 70.4
2008 77,359 62,986 81.4 41,052 36,319 88.5 36,307 26,667 73.4
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 285,028 206,272 72.4 153,393 120,466 78.5 131,635 85,806 65.2
2001 308,744 222,541 72.1 161,045 126,876 78.8 147,699 95,665 64.8
2002 359,535 260,847 72.6 183,646 146,603 79.8 175,889 114,244 65.0
2003 389,839 282,020 72.3 191,581 153,428 80.1 198,258 128,592 64.9
2004 399,976 292,314 73.1 189,465 154,549 81.6 210,511 137,765 65.4
2005 361,453 271,054 75.0 168,264 139,635 83.0 193,189 131,419 68.0
2006 338,677 256,547 75.7 157,268 132,024 83.9 181,409 124,523 68.6
2007 231,745 180,108 77.7 111,257 95,199 85.6 120,488 84,909 70.5
2008 76,119 62,049 81.5 40,274 35,686 88.6 35,845 26,363 73.5
Widow(er)s
1999 3,027 2,285 75.5 2,325 1,794 77.2 702 491 69.9
2000 3,136 2,368 75.5 2,411 1,853 76.9 725 515 71.0
2001 3,032 2,326 76.7 2,384 1,852 77.7 648 474 73.1
2002 3,369 2,632 78.1 2,638 2,097 79.5 731 535 73.2
2003 3,375 2,600 77.0 2,390 1,894 79.2 985 706 71.7
2004 3,170 2,519 79.5 2,161 1,774 82.1 1,009 745 73.8
2005 3,134 2,544 81.2 2,132 1,791 84.0 1,002 753 75.1
2006 2,952 2,447 82.9 1,935 1,648 85.2 1,017 799 78.6
2007 2,011 1,676 83.3 1,326 1,132 85.4 685 544 79.4
2008 842 728 86.5 556 497 89.4 286 231 80.8
Adult children
1999 1,181 587 49.7 851 459 53.9 330 128 38.8
2000 1,305 621 47.6 935 478 51.1 370 143 38.6
2001 1,416 662 46.8 985 491 49.8 431 171 39.7
2002 1,705 860 50.4 1,157 636 55.0 548 224 40.9
2003 1,761 841 47.8 1,058 574 54.3 703 267 38.0
2004 1,843 847 46.0 986 542 55.0 857 305 35.6
2005 1,837 975 53.1 1,010 614 60.8 827 361 43.7
2006 1,794 882 49.2 994 544 54.7 800 338 42.3
2007 1,368 697 51.0 739 449 60.8 629 248 39.4
2008 398 209 52.5 222 136 61.3 176 73 41.5
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through August 2009.
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, 1992–2008
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 764,237 100.0 31.2 6.2 29.3 33.4
2001 838,538 100.0 30.0 6.1 30.1 33.7
2002 896,059 100.0 28.6 5.3 30.2 35.9
2003 926,357 100.0 27.2 5.1 31.2 36.6
2004 953,200 100.0 26.6 5.0 31.7 36.7
2005 897,447 100.0 26.8 4.7 32.4 36.1
2006 869,334 100.0 27.0 4.6 32.6 35.7
2007 810,943 100.0 29.2 5.2 36.6 29.0
2008 716,800 100.0 33.4 6.7 44.0 15.8
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 693,227 100.0 31.8 6.5 30.7 31.0
2001 767,892 100.0 30.6 6.4 31.4 31.6
2002 821,938 100.0 29.0 5.6 31.5 33.9
2003 851,423 100.0 27.5 5.3 32.6 34.6
2004 876,335 100.0 26.9 5.2 33.2 34.7
2005 819,336 100.0 27.3 4.9 34.0 33.7
2006 791,258 100.0 27.6 4.9 34.4 33.2
2007 732,060 100.0 29.9 5.5 39.0 25.7
2008 640,958 100.0 34.6 7.2 47.4 10.9
Widow(er)s
1999 29,108 100.0 14.9 2.5 24.6 58.0
2000 29,665 100.0 12.8 2.5 26.3 58.4
2001 30,109 100.0 12.3 2.6 27.0 58.1
2002 30,586 100.0 11.4 2.1 26.6 59.9
2003 29,996 100.0 10.8 2.2 26.2 60.8
2004 30,457 100.0 10.2 1.9 26.4 61.5
2005 29,926 100.0 9.9 1.7 25.8 62.7
2006 29,096 100.0 9.7 1.5 24.5 64.3
2007 27,662 100.0 9.7 1.7 25.8 62.8
2008 26,304 100.0 9.9 2.0 28.0 60.2
Adult children
1999 39,624 100.0 35.9 3.2 7.4 53.5
2000 41,345 100.0 35.0 3.1 7.3 54.7
2001 40,537 100.0 33.0 3.0 8.0 56.0
2002 43,535 100.0 31.8 2.9 7.6 57.7
2003 44,938 100.0 31.1 2.7 8.2 58.1
2004 46,408 100.0 30.4 2.8 8.6 58.2
2005 48,185 100.0 28.8 2.5 8.4 60.3
2006 48,980 100.0 28.7 2.6 8.9 59.8
2007 51,221 100.0 30.0 2.7 9.5 57.8
2008 49,538 100.0 31.0 2.9 9.6 56.5
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for all levels are current through August 2009.
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, 1992–2008
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 462,077 100.0 10.0 17.2 28.3 30.4 14.1
2001 502,395 100.0 9.2 16.7 28.1 31.1 14.9
2002 582,708 100.0 8.5 17.1 28.2 31.2 14.9
2003 633,972 100.0 7.5 17.7 28.2 31.7 14.9
2004 680,837 100.0 6.8 18.4 27.5 31.5 15.7
2005 641,455 100.0 6.5 19.2 26.6 31.3 16.4
2006 638,573 100.0 6.4 19.9 26.0 30.9 16.8
2007 596,491 100.0 6.6 20.4 26.0 30.1 17.0
2008 568,481 100.0 6.4 21.1 25.6 29.7 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 423,494 100.0 10.6 17.4 29.3 30.1 12.6
2000 436,126 100.0 10.4 16.7 29.3 29.7 13.8
2001 476,499 100.0 9.5 16.4 29.0 30.5 14.6
2002 553,068 100.0 8.8 16.8 29.2 30.5 14.7
2003 601,102 100.0 7.7 17.4 29.2 31.0 14.7
2004 645,201 100.0 7.1 18.2 28.5 30.8 15.5
2005 606,020 100.0 6.8 19.0 27.6 30.5 16.2
2006 598,139 100.0 6.7 19.6 27.3 30.1 16.4
2007 552,711 100.0 6.9 20.1 27.5 28.9 16.6
2008 524,548 100.0 6.8 20.9 27.2 28.4 16.8
Widow(er)s
1999 9,735 100.0 5.6 29.0 31.8 22.7 10.8
2000 9,038 100.0 5.2 29.0 31.4 22.3 12.1
2001 8,755 100.0 4.6 27.6 31.2 22.8 13.7
2002 9,107 100.0 4.7 26.2 32.4 23.6 13.1
2003 9,680 100.0 4.2 26.4 32.6 23.4 13.4
2004 10,009 100.0 3.5 26.6 32.1 23.4 14.4
2005 9,660 100.0 3.5 26.8 32.0 23.0 14.7
2006 10,042 100.0 3.8 25.9 31.2 23.3 15.8
2007 9,570 100.0 3.8 26.2 31.4 23.3 15.3
2008 9,160 100.0 3.7 25.6 31.2 23.8 15.7
Adult children
1999 16,822 100.0 3.1 22.7 0.7 53.3 20.2
2000 16,913 100.0 2.8 22.9 0.7 51.9 21.7
2001 17,141 100.0 2.5 21.3 0.9 52.9 22.3
2002 20,533 100.0 2.3 21.6 0.8 53.5 21.7
2003 23,190 100.0 2.0 21.8 0.7 53.6 21.9
2004 25,627 100.0 1.9 22.1 0.5 52.5 23.0
2005 25,775 100.0 1.8 21.1 0.4 53.1 23.6
2006 30,392 100.0 1.8 23.5 0.4 50.5 23.9
2007 34,210 100.0 1.7 23.5 0.3 50.5 24.1
2008 34,773 100.0 1.6 24.0 0.2 51.7 22.5
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for all levels are current through August 2009.
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.