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Social Security Administration (SSA) Data for
Combined Title II Disability and Title XVI Blind/Disabled Average Processing Time (in days)
(excludes technical denials)
Last updated on
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We process disability claims for benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. An application for disability benefits can be filed online, in the local SSA office, or by phone. We review the application to make sure some basic requirements for disability benefits are met. In some instances, including where the non-disability requirements are not met, the claim may be turned down as a technical denial and a medical determination is not made.
If the requirements are met, we send the disability application to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office in the state in which the applicant resides. Using federal laws, regulations, and Agency policies and procedures, the state agency completes the disability decision for Social Security. In addition, the SSA reviews a sample of initial disability claims prior to a final determination. Once these actions are completed, payment is made for allowances or notices are issued for denials.
The data contained in these datasets show the overall cumulative number of elapsed days (including processing time for transit, technical determinations, medical determinations, and quality review) from the date of filing through the date payment is made or the denial notice is issued for all initial claims that require a medical determination for fiscal years 2008 onward. For information on our Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program processing time, go to the Title XVI Blind/Disabled Average Processing Time dataset.
Agency Program Description
Go to Benefits for People with Disabilities to learn more about SSA’s disability programs.
- A federal fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30. Most years our fiscal year workload reports contain 52 weeks since we include only full weeks, rather than cut off in the middle of a week. Every few years the reporting period is 53 weeks when we apply the end of week cutoff. Fiscal Year 2016 is a 53-week year for our workload reports.
- We provide both counts since the 52-week data may be more appropriate for comparing 2016 to prior years that were 52-week reporting periods. This would be particularly relevant for looking at receipts and clearances, for example. The 53-week data may be more relevant for viewing the end of year status of workloads, especially pending cases and it represents the efforts achieved with the entire year’s resources.
These datasets provide the overall cumulative number of elapsed days (including processing time for transit, technical (non-medical aspects) determinations, medical determinations, and SSA quality review) from the date of filing through the date payment is made or the denial notice is issued for all initial claims that require a medical determination. The data include monthly processing time for fiscal years 2008 and later. Fiscal year average processing time is the only cumulative figure; all monthly data are for a single month.
The average processing time is the total number of days to process all initial disability claims requiring a medical determination divided by the total number of initial disability claims requiring a medical determination that we process during a particular month, or cumulatively for all months for the fiscal year.
Data Collection Description
We electronically collect elapsed time in days for every disability case processed. We currently use our business intelligence capabilities to present the data that is in our data stores.
Data Dictionary (for all datasets)
Field A: Fiscal Year, a federal fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30.
Field B: Month, which is administratively set and is not necessarily an exact calendar month.
Field C: Average Processing (elapsed) time in days for disability claims, including combined initial Title II disability and Title XVI blind/disabled determinations, excluding technical denials, for each month and for the fiscal year. Counts are only cumulative in the calculation for the fiscal year figure.