Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2007

 

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, 1996–2006

The final award rate for disabled-worker applicants has varied over time, averaging nearly 48 percent for claims filed from 1996 through 2006. 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 25 percent. The percentage of applicants awarded at the reconsideration and hearing levels are relatively constant, averaging 4 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Denied disability claims have averaged about 49 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, 1992–2006
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 0 104,379 446,317 4,062 708,439 1,858 56.0 61.3
2000 1,364,396 2,966 136,119 456,698 3,828 762,846 1,939 56.0 62.5
2001 1,513,536 3,482 170,540 496,992 3,588 837,000 1,934 55.4 62.7
2002 1,716,221 5,689 231,067 580,474 4,076 892,816 2,099 52.2 60.6
2003 1,942,433 13,376 374,247 628,073 4,510 920,152 2,075 47.7 59.4
2004 2,262,548 58,399 616,424 656,755 5,741 923,579 1,650 41.9 58.3
2005 2,080,201 178,423 529,261 593,914 7,304 769,301 1,998 40.5 56.3
2006 2,140,112 310,770 610,681 591,977 7,655 617,054 1,975 33.7 50.9
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 96,719 422,017 4,207 613,114 2,044 53.9 59.2
1999 1,167,664 0 102,353 419,800 4,014 639,711 1,786 54.8 60.3
2000 1,265,214 2,849 134,013 430,889 3,793 691,798 1,872 54.8 61.6
2001 1,414,598 3,361 168,252 471,231 3,545 766,330 1,879 54.3 61.9
2002 1,609,612 5,489 228,456 550,906 4,020 818,693 2,048 51.0 59.8
2003 1,831,314 13,081 371,277 595,294 4,452 845,206 2,004 46.5 58.6
2004 2,145,775 57,749 612,388 621,311 5,688 847,040 1,599 40.6 57.6
2005 1,966,118 176,293 525,353 558,717 7,205 696,627 1,923 38.9 55.3
2006 2,026,017 306,932 605,998 551,554 7,547 552,068 1,918 32.1 49.9
Widow(er)s
1999 40,055 0 1,173 9,719 17 29,109 37 72.7 75.0
2000 39,996 60 1,258 8,980 11 29,658 29 74.3 76.8
2001 40,238 62 1,344 8,694 13 30,106 19 74.9 77.6
2002 41,325 103 1,539 9,086 18 30,560 19 74.1 77.1
2003 41,473 158 1,645 9,631 24 29,971 44 72.5 75.7
2004 42,626 308 2,072 9,946 22 30,254 24 71.5 75.3
2005 40,776 1,128 1,897 9,762 29 27,936 24 70.5 74.1
2006 39,259 2,051 2,162 10,605 43 24,377 21 65.5 69.7
Adult children
1999 57,336 0 853 16,798 31 39,619 35 69.1 70.2
2000 59,186 57 848 16,829 24 41,390 38 70.0 71.1
2001 58,700 59 944 17,067 30 40,564 36 69.2 70.4
2002 65,284 97 1,072 20,482 38 43,563 32 66.8 68.0
2003 69,646 137 1,325 23,148 34 44,975 27 64.7 66.0
2004 74,147 342 1,964 25,498 31 46,285 27 62.7 64.5
2005 73,307 1,002 2,011 25,435 70 44,738 51 61.9 63.8
2006 74,836 1,787 2,521 29,818 65 40,609 36 55.6 57.7
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through August 2007. Data for the hearing level or above are current through September 2007.
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, 1992–2006
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 1,228,247 501,947 40.9 688,232 340,331 49.5 540,015 161,616 29.9
2001 1,342,950 560,106 41.7 742,908 379,872 51.1 600,042 180,234 30.0
2002 1,485,084 576,919 38.8 795,125 386,247 48.6 689,959 190,672 27.6
2003 1,568,023 585,868 37.4 805,007 384,055 47.7 763,016 201,813 26.4
2004 1,645,407 603,918 36.7 812,999 388,749 47.8 832,408 215,169 25.8
2005 1,549,042 567,700 36.6 753,820 364,463 48.3 795,222 203,237 25.6
2006 1,525,952 541,498 35.5 732,810 347,947 47.5 793,142 193,551 24.4
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 1,041,382 374,376 35.9 550,793 238,989 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 1,131,172 436,606 38.6 615,410 284,388 46.2 515,762 152,218 29.5
2001 1,246,303 494,907 39.7 670,611 324,189 48.3 575,692 170,718 29.7
2002 1,381,090 508,659 36.8 718,636 327,949 45.6 662,454 180,710 27.3
2003 1,459,880 516,756 35.4 728,214 325,430 44.7 731,666 191,326 26.1
2004 1,532,677 532,755 34.8 736,841 329,523 44.7 795,836 203,232 25.5
2005 1,438,896 498,835 34.7 679,875 307,144 45.2 759,021 191,691 25.3
2006 1,416,592 478,214 33.8 663,696 296,039 44.6 752,896 182,175 24.2
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 40,551 26,634 65.7 29,695 22,264 75.0 10,856 4,370 40.3
2005 38,870 25,427 65.4 28,531 21,351 74.8 10,339 4,076 39.4
2006 37,082 23,320 62.9 26,412 19,543 74.0 10,670 3,777 35.4
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 68,316 43,058 63.0 46,421 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 71,276 43,438 60.9 45,414 35,968 79.2 25,862 7,470 28.9
2006 72,278 39,964 55.3 42,702 32,365 75.8 29,576 7,599 25.7
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through August 2007.
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, 1992–2006
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 408,564 58,590 14.3 215,481 33,233 15.4 193,083 25,357 13.1
2001 435,205 58,417 13.4 222,325 32,590 14.7 212,880 25,827 12.1
2002 502,659 60,482 12.0 250,201 32,881 13.1 252,458 27,601 10.9
2003 542,612 60,471 11.1 258,464 31,725 12.3 284,148 28,746 10.1
2004 555,085 57,711 10.4 253,754 29,625 11.7 301,331 28,086 9.3
2005 503,036 50,226 10.0 223,641 25,960 11.6 279,395 24,266 8.7
2006 449,053 39,508 8.8 196,944 20,575 10.4 252,109 18,933 7.5
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 384,996 61,742 16.0 199,291 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 397,068 55,762 14.0 209,183 31,946 15.3 187,885 23,816 12.7
2001 424,028 55,822 13.2 216,226 31,420 14.5 207,802 24,402 11.7
2002 490,213 57,961 11.8 243,634 31,809 13.1 246,579 26,152 10.6
2003 529,454 57,885 10.9 252,355 30,711 12.2 277,099 27,174 9.8
2004 541,726 55,259 10.2 248,086 28,707 11.6 293,640 26,552 9.0
2005 490,680 48,273 9.8 218,449 25,177 11.5 272,231 23,096 8.5
2006 438,562 38,274 8.7 192,879 20,063 10.4 245,683 18,211 7.4
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 6,433 1,371 21.3 3,439 583 17.0 2,994 788 26.3
2005 5,875 1,012 17.2 3,137 473 15.1 2,738 539 19.7
2006 4,850 635 13.1 2,397 302 12.6 2,453 333 13.6
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 6,497 1,143 17.6 2,275 354 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 6,481 941 14.5 2,055 310 15.1 4,426 631 14.3
2006 5,641 599 10.6 1,668 210 12.6 3,973 389 9.8
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through August 2007.
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, 1992–2006
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 263,812 189,155 71.7 144,168 112,079 77.7 119,644 77,076 64.4
2000 284,953 204,248 71.7 154,344 120,030 77.8 130,609 84,218 64.5
2001 308,688 220,411 71.4 162,139 126,561 78.1 146,549 93,850 64.0
2002 361,417 257,514 71.3 185,968 146,018 78.5 175,449 111,496 63.5
2003 385,401 275,888 71.6 191,077 151,606 79.3 194,324 124,282 64.0
2004 352,840 263,600 74.7 171,803 142,469 82.9 181,037 121,131 66.9
2005 196,457 153,373 78.1 97,354 82,914 85.2 99,103 70,459 71.1
2006 46,148 38,023 82.4 24,582 21,755 88.5 21,566 16,268 75.4
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 251,485 179,040 71.2 134,882 104,729 77.6 116,603 74,311 63.7
1999 259,678 186,354 71.8 141,045 109,893 77.9 118,633 76,461 64.5
2000 280,672 201,302 71.7 151,094 117,730 77.9 129,578 83,572 64.5
2001 304,420 217,480 71.4 158,875 124,257 78.2 145,545 93,223 64.1
2002 356,503 254,121 71.3 182,254 143,349 78.7 174,249 110,772 63.6
2003 380,486 272,569 71.6 187,741 149,213 79.5 192,745 123,356 64.0
2004 348,450 260,625 74.8 169,052 140,429 83.1 179,398 120,196 67.0
2005 193,828 151,442 78.1 95,628 81,551 85.3 98,200 69,891 71.2
2006 45,466 37,498 82.5 24,152 21,401 88.6 21,314 16,097 75.5
Widow(er)s
1999 2,978 2,230 74.9 2,288 1,745 76.3 690 485 70.3
2000 3,045 2,332 76.6 2,352 1,826 77.6 693 506 73.0
2001 2,940 2,284 77.7 2,327 1,823 78.3 613 461 75.2
2002 3,277 2,556 78.0 2,586 2,049 79.2 691 507 73.4
2003 3,250 2,518 77.5 2,320 1,841 79.4 930 677 72.8
2004 2,853 2,273 79.7 1,935 1,594 82.4 918 679 74.0
2005 1,855 1,521 82.0 1,295 1,100 84.9 560 421 75.2
2006 512 443 86.5 345 307 89.0 167 136 81.4
Adult children
1999 1,156 571 49.4 835 441 52.8 321 130 40.5
2000 1,236 614 49.7 898 474 52.8 338 140 41.4
2001 1,328 647 48.7 937 481 51.3 391 166 42.5
2002 1,637 837 51.1 1,128 620 55.0 509 217 42.6
2003 1,665 801 48.1 1,016 552 54.3 649 249 38.4
2004 1,537 702 45.7 816 446 54.7 721 256 35.5
2005 774 410 53.0 431 263 61.0 343 147 42.9
2006 170 82 48.2 85 47 55.3 85 35 41.2
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through September 2007.
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, 1992–2006
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 708,439 100.0 33.0 5.9 27.0 34.1
2000 762,846 100.0 31.3 6.2 29.3 33.2
2001 837,000 100.0 30.1 6.1 30.2 33.6
2002 892,816 100.0 28.7 5.4 30.3 35.6
2003 920,152 100.0 27.4 5.1 31.4 36.1
2004 923,579 100.0 27.4 5.1 32.8 34.6
2005 769,301 100.0 31.0 5.4 37.1 26.5
2006 617,054 100.0 36.9 6.2 43.3 13.5
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 613,114 100.0 35.5 6.6 27.0 31.0
1999 639,711 100.0 33.6 6.3 28.3 31.8
2000 691,798 100.0 31.8 6.6 30.8 30.8
2001 766,330 100.0 30.6 6.4 31.5 31.4
2002 818,693 100.0 29.2 5.6 31.7 33.5
2003 845,206 100.0 27.8 5.4 32.8 34.1
2004 847,040 100.0 27.9 5.4 34.3 32.4
2005 696,627 100.0 31.9 5.7 39.3 23.1
2006 552,068 100.0 38.4 6.7 46.5 8.5
Widow(er)s
1999 29,109 100.0 14.9 2.5 24.6 58.0
2000 29,658 100.0 12.8 2.5 26.3 58.4
2001 30,106 100.0 12.3 2.6 27.0 58.1
2002 30,560 100.0 11.5 2.1 26.6 59.9
2003 29,971 100.0 10.8 2.2 26.2 60.7
2004 30,254 100.0 10.3 2.0 26.6 61.2
2005 27,936 100.0 10.5 1.8 27.1 60.6
2006 24,377 100.0 11.1 1.7 27.6 59.5
Adult children
1999 39,619 100.0 35.9 3.2 7.4 53.5
2000 41,390 100.0 35.0 3.1 7.3 54.7
2001 40,564 100.0 33.0 3.0 8.0 56.0
2002 43,563 100.0 31.8 2.9 7.6 57.7
2003 44,975 100.0 31.0 2.7 8.2 58.1
2004 46,285 100.0 30.5 2.8 8.6 58.1
2005 44,738 100.0 30.5 2.7 8.7 58.1
2006 40,609 100.0 32.8 3.0 9.8 54.4
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through August 2007. Data for the hearing level or above are current through September 2007.
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, 1992–2006
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 450,379 100.0 10.2 17.8 28.3 30.9 12.7
2000 460,526 100.0 10.1 17.2 28.3 30.4 14.0
2001 500,580 100.0 9.2 16.7 28.1 31.2 14.8
2002 584,550 100.0 8.5 17.1 28.3 31.3 14.8
2003 632,583 100.0 7.5 17.7 28.3 31.7 14.9
2004 662,496 100.0 6.9 18.5 27.4 31.2 16.0
2005 601,218 100.0 6.8 19.1 26.4 30.6 17.2
2006 599,632 100.0 6.6 19.2 26.2 30.7 17.3
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 426,224 100.0 10.8 18.3 27.8 30.8 12.2
1999 423,814 100.0 10.6 17.4 29.3 30.1 12.5
2000 434,682 100.0 10.4 16.7 29.3 29.8 13.7
2001 474,776 100.0 9.6 16.3 29.0 30.5 14.6
2002 554,926 100.0 8.8 16.8 29.2 30.7 14.6
2003 599,746 100.0 7.8 17.4 29.3 31.0 14.6
2004 626,999 100.0 7.2 18.2 28.5 30.5 15.7
2005 565,922 100.0 7.0 18.8 27.5 29.7 16.9
2006 559,101 100.0 7.0 18.9 27.4 29.7 17.0
Widow(er)s
1999 9,736 100.0 5.6 29.1 31.8 22.7 10.8
2000 8,991 100.0 5.2 29.0 31.4 22.4 12.0
2001 8,707 100.0 4.6 27.6 31.1 22.9 13.6
2002 9,104 100.0 4.7 26.2 32.4 23.7 13.0
2003 9,655 100.0 4.2 26.5 32.7 23.3 13.3
2004 9,968 100.0 3.6 26.5 32.1 23.4 14.4
2005 9,791 100.0 3.6 26.0 32.2 23.7 14.6
2006 10,648 100.0 4.1 24.3 31.8 24.6 15.2
Adult children
1999 16,829 100.0 3.1 22.7 0.7 53.3 20.1
2000 16,853 100.0 2.9 22.9 0.7 51.9 21.7
2001 17,097 100.0 2.5 21.3 0.9 52.9 22.3
2002 20,520 100.0 2.3 21.6 0.8 53.5 21.7
2003 23,182 100.0 2.0 21.8 0.7 53.6 21.9
2004 25,529 100.0 1.9 22.0 0.5 52.4 23.1
2005 25,505 100.0 1.9 20.9 0.4 53.1 23.7
2006 29,883 100.0 1.8 23.2 0.4 50.7 23.9
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research file, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through August 2007. Data for the hearing level or above are current through September 2007.
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.