SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2016

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits

Notes

The tables in this section provide data on the outcomes of applications for SSI benefits based on blindness or disability. The data on applications are derived from the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) Disability Research File (DRF) maintained by the Office of Disability Programs. Each year the DRF 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 69 shows the total number of applications filed in a year, the number that are pending a final decision, the number denied for nonmedical reasons before a medical decision is made (technical denials), 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 excess income.

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 70–72 show the allowance rate for SSI only and the SSI portion of concurrent (a claim for both Social Security and SSI disability benefits) applications, one for each level in the administrative decisionmaking process; that is, initial, reconsideration, and hearing or higher level.

Beginning with fiscal year 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 reason for medical denial (Tables 73 and 74). 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:

  • has a listed impairment,
  • has a severe impairment that is equal to a listed impairment,
  • has a severe impairment when medical and vocational factors are considered, or
  • had previously established entitlement to a disability benefit.

An applicant can be denied benefits if he or she:

  • has an impairment that is not expected to last 12 months;
  • has an impairment that is not considered severe;
  • is able to perform his or her usual type of work;
  • is able to perform another type of work; or
  • provides insufficient medical evidence, fails to cooperate, fails to follow prescribed treatment, does not want to continue development of the claim, or returns to substantial work before disability can be established.
Table 69. Outcomes at all adjudicative levels, by age and year of application, 1992–2015
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 ages f
1992 1,828,951 0 134,438 741,839 1,556 860,875 90,243 47.1 56.1
1993 2,048,945 0 141,214 937,757 1,600 878,932 89,442 42.9 50.8
1994 2,014,499 0 123,175 1,041,432 1,681 770,905 77,306 38.3 44.8
1995 1,845,212 0 103,335 995,185 1,344 683,850 61,498 37.1 42.8
1996 1,786,770 0 113,027 938,407 1,886 671,900 61,550 37.6 43.8
1997 1,505,145 0 97,320 738,808 2,074 606,224 60,719 40.3 47.4
1998 1,520,538 0 95,990 701,331 3,831 656,567 62,819 43.2 50.5
1999 1,528,217 0 105,819 688,922 4,003 665,071 64,402 43.5 51.3
2000 1,612,878 0 156,447 687,969 3,841 691,505 73,116 42.9 52.5
2001 1,749,407 0 203,313 725,442 3,542 736,126 80,984 42.1 52.8
2002 1,958,790 0 278,217 810,525 3,583 777,403 89,062 39.7 51.6
2003 2,112,104 0 342,132 870,639 3,365 796,317 99,651 37.7 50.6
2004 2,245,536 0 431,054 905,005 3,225 804,617 101,635 35.8 49.9
2005 2,322,911 0 560,261 881,661 3,115 779,921 97,953 33.6 49.8
2006 2,419,039 0 637,973 908,965 2,958 774,628 94,515 32.0 48.8
2007 2,438,121 0 657,445 921,491 2,832 764,710 91,643 31.4 48.1
2008 2,540,093 0 649,096 952,596 2,714 839,329 96,358 33.0 49.5
2009 2,858,139 3,726 688,521 1,115,732 2,709 931,185 116,266 32.6 48.4
2010 2,893,276 5,441 679,520 1,189,227 2,676 903,441 112,971 31.3 46.0
2011 2,797,305 9,148 619,542 1,199,412 2,788 861,536 104,879 30.9 44.6
2012 2,680,083 23,885 553,205 1,173,459 5,137 823,805 100,592 31.0 44.0
2013 2,396,661 106,954 438,605 1,023,299 4,575 731,592 91,636 32.0 44.5
2014 2,180,598 304,324 364,812 835,601 4,410 598,935 72,516 31.9 44.4
2015 2,044,976 341,706 334,696 783,928 3,564 519,691 61,391 30.5 42.5
  Under age 18
1992 376,812 0 16,695 148,221 103 204,083 7,710 54.2 58.8
1993 500,676 0 18,788 240,668 135 232,344 8,741 46.4 50.0
1994 530,538 0 16,897 311,137 147 194,655 7,702 36.7 39.4
1995 491,638 0 14,364 306,298 92 163,896 6,988 33.3 35.8
1996 457,057 0 13,532 291,265 86 144,670 7,504 31.7 34.3
1997 334,975 0 10,906 195,730 69 121,439 6,831 36.3 39.6
1998 338,592 0 10,904 182,594 74 137,655 7,365 40.7 44.3
1999 345,067 0 11,898 182,426 68 142,863 7,812 41.4 45.2
2000 355,474 0 15,774 179,549 66 151,912 8,173 42.7 47.1
2001 375,950 0 18,708 182,089 61 166,280 8,812 44.2 49.0
2002 412,957 0 22,677 200,522 78 180,264 9,416 43.7 48.6
2003 438,572 0 25,776 214,609 65 188,119 10,003 42.9 48.0
2004 451,668 0 31,537 220,652 83 189,217 10,179 41.9 47.5
2005 445,100 0 46,751 210,476 101 177,541 10,231 39.9 47.1
2006 455,145 0 50,011 218,712 104 176,053 10,265 38.7 46.0
2007 457,405 0 53,081 219,101 119 175,209 9,895 38.3 45.8
2008 472,553 0 53,736 221,433 142 187,793 9,449 39.7 47.1
2009 539,818 169 57,847 258,501 134 211,801 11,366 39.2 46.3
2010 540,097 255 58,352 267,664 120 203,207 10,499 37.6 44.4
2011 526,805 423 55,680 264,638 124 195,907 10,033 37.2 43.8
2012 510,777 1,425 52,969 256,532 389 189,398 10,064 37.2 43.7
2013 460,277 7,738 44,658 227,377 379 170,231 9,894 37.6 44.2
2014 431,675 22,166 38,088 200,442 327 160,610 10,042 39.2 45.9
2015 428,962 25,485 38,697 193,496 304 160,286 10,694 39.7 46.9
  Aged 18–64
1992 1,451,417 0 117,675 593,455 1,451 656,374 82,462 45.2 55.4
1993 1,547,527 0 122,364 696,934 1,463 646,157 80,609 41.8 51.0
1994 1,482,503 0 106,181 729,927 1,529 575,431 69,435 38.8 46.9
1995 1,351,903 0 88,839 688,438 1,245 519,041 54,340 38.4 45.4
1996 1,277,604 0 87,869 646,497 1,534 488,215 53,489 38.2 45.5
1997 1,135,602 0 78,303 541,988 1,456 461,006 52,849 40.6 48.6
1998 1,133,015 0 76,709 516,676 1,860 483,898 53,872 42.7 50.9
1999 1,133,722 0 83,733 505,160 1,542 487,862 55,425 43.0 51.7
2000 1,208,918 0 127,891 507,396 1,438 508,229 63,964 42.0 52.9
2001 1,323,001 0 167,603 542,407 1,436 540,288 71,267 40.8 52.9
2002 1,483,558 0 230,046 608,936 1,571 564,346 78,659 38.0 51.3
2003 1,615,400 0 287,669 655,234 1,765 581,908 88,824 36.0 50.5
2004 1,732,620 0 365,943 683,723 1,819 590,379 90,756 34.1 49.8
2005 1,804,002 0 470,955 670,649 1,917 573,360 87,121 31.8 49.5
2006 1,891,892 0 542,481 689,777 1,972 574,000 83,662 30.3 48.7
2007 1,908,581 0 557,111 682,503 1,947 585,713 81,307 30.7 49.4
2008 1,995,482 0 547,859 710,685 1,975 648,441 86,522 32.5 50.8
2009 2,242,960 3,557 580,565 835,813 2,033 716,431 104,561 32.0 49.5
2010 2,278,662 5,186 571,202 900,216 2,117 697,745 102,196 30.7 47.0
2011 2,196,343 8,725 514,359 912,630 2,287 663,720 94,622 30.3 45.3
2012 2,098,947 22,459 452,605 896,481 4,457 632,637 90,308 30.5 44.5
2013 1,870,250 99,211 350,722 774,830 3,935 560,000 81,552 31.6 45.2
2014 1,683,719 282,131 284,622 613,646 3,861 437,117 62,342 31.2 44.7
2015 1,551,043 316,178 254,327 568,653 3,059 358,293 50,533 29.0 41.7
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through June 2016. Data for the hearing level or above are current through July 2016.
Because a number of applications remain pending for more recent years, the numbers and percentages will change over time. Cases can be pending at the initial or appellate levels and can include either medical or technical issues.
Includes decisions for SSI-only applications and applications for both Social Security and SSI. Does not include Social Security–only applications.
a. Applications denied for nonmedical reasons so no decision was made on severity of impairment.
b. Applications denied for nonmedical reasons after a decision was made that applicant did not meet the medical severity criteria for disability benefits.
c. Applications denied for nonmedical reasons after a decision was made that 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.
f. Includes applicants aged 65 or older.
CONTACT: (410) 965-0090 or statistics@ssa.gov.
Table 70. Medical decisions at the initial adjudicative level, by age, year of application, and program, 1992–2015
Year All decisions Decisions on applications for SSI 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 (percent)
  All ages b
1992 1,694,513 686,962 40.5 946,348 399,334 42.2 748,165 287,628 38.4
1993 1,907,731 687,630 36.0 1,106,624 409,102 37.0 801,107 278,528 34.8
1994 1,891,324 577,721 30.5 1,105,532 335,756 30.4 785,792 241,965 30.8
1995 1,741,877 507,742 29.1 1,037,201 291,168 28.1 704,676 216,574 30.7
1996 1,673,743 508,931 30.4 1,000,530 296,655 29.6 673,213 212,276 31.5
1997 1,407,825 459,297 32.6 820,527 260,354 31.7 587,298 198,943 33.9
1998 1,424,548 520,690 36.6 843,671 304,856 36.1 580,877 215,834 37.2
1999 1,422,398 531,498 37.4 843,031 312,871 37.1 579,367 218,627 37.7
2000 1,456,431 554,432 38.1 845,774 320,683 37.9 610,657 233,749 38.3
2001 1,546,094 592,932 38.4 860,944 337,508 39.2 685,150 255,424 37.3
2002 1,680,573 616,501 36.7 904,251 344,833 38.1 776,322 271,668 35.0
2003 1,769,972 631,320 35.7 917,456 343,711 37.5 852,516 287,609 33.7
2004 1,814,482 639,585 35.2 917,579 342,192 37.3 896,903 297,393 33.2
2005 1,762,650 616,349 35.0 888,937 328,359 36.9 873,713 287,990 33.0
2006 1,781,066 602,322 33.8 894,456 316,937 35.4 886,610 285,385 32.2
2007 1,780,676 582,229 32.7 889,279 305,775 34.4 891,397 276,454 31.0
2008 1,890,997 636,468 33.7 947,071 332,823 35.1 943,926 303,645 32.2
2009 2,169,618 719,044 33.1 1,095,552 378,419 34.5 1,074,066 340,625 31.7
2010 2,213,756 694,168 31.4 1,109,791 361,154 32.5 1,103,965 333,014 30.2
2011 2,177,763 658,464 30.2 1,101,503 343,871 31.2 1,076,260 314,593 29.2
2012 2,123,348 642,687 30.3 1,087,668 339,161 31.2 1,035,680 303,526 29.3
2013 1,954,463 592,156 30.3 1,013,130 314,904 31.1 941,333 277,252 29.5
2014 1,811,677 558,209 30.8 967,302 310,513 32.1 844,375 247,696 29.3
2015 1,705,793 534,013 31.3 950,176 313,450 33.0 755,617 220,563 29.2
  Under age 18
1992 360,117 194,494 54.0 329,316 176,929 53.7 30,801 17,565 57.0
1993 481,888 218,724 45.4 443,778 200,206 45.1 38,110 18,518 48.6
1994 513,641 177,660 34.6 475,233 164,436 34.6 38,408 13,224 34.4
1995 477,274 149,140 31.2 443,367 138,959 31.3 33,907 10,181 30.0
1996 443,525 133,375 30.1 413,379 124,846 30.2 30,146 8,529 28.3
1997 324,069 112,387 34.7 302,540 105,366 34.8 21,529 7,021 32.6
1998 327,688 129,729 39.6 306,164 121,371 39.6 21,524 8,358 38.8
1999 333,169 135,117 40.6 310,763 126,253 40.6 22,406 8,864 39.6
2000 339,700 143,488 42.2 316,325 133,675 42.3 23,375 9,813 42.0
2001 357,242 157,781 44.2 332,701 146,810 44.1 24,541 10,971 44.7
2002 390,280 170,519 43.7 363,007 158,369 43.6 27,273 12,150 44.5
2003 412,796 178,051 43.1 384,457 165,640 43.1 28,339 12,411 43.8
2004 420,131 180,180 42.9 391,024 167,412 42.8 29,107 12,768 43.9
2005 398,349 169,033 42.4 369,914 156,928 42.4 28,435 12,105 42.6
2006 405,134 166,092 41.0 376,681 154,486 41.0 28,453 11,606 40.8
2007 404,324 164,500 40.7 374,495 152,314 40.7 29,829 12,186 40.9
2008 418,817 174,936 41.8 388,313 162,193 41.8 30,504 12,743 41.8
2009 481,971 198,403 41.2 446,904 183,948 41.2 35,067 14,455 41.2
2010 481,745 190,100 39.5 446,165 176,200 39.5 35,580 13,900 39.1
2011 471,125 183,203 38.9 436,510 170,213 39.0 34,615 12,990 37.5
2012 457,484 178,811 39.1 424,583 166,465 39.2 32,901 12,346 37.5
2013 415,281 163,257 39.3 385,909 152,306 39.5 29,372 10,951 37.3
2014 393,277 160,479 40.8 366,875 150,971 41.2 26,402 9,508 36.0
2015 389,813 164,538 42.2 364,991 155,635 42.6 24,822 8,903 35.9
  Aged 18–64
1992 1,333,742 492,046 36.9 616,523 222,077 36.0 717,219 269,969 37.6
1993 1,425,163 468,477 32.9 662,298 208,554 31.5 762,865 259,923 34.1
1994 1,376,322 399,267 29.0 629,051 170,618 27.1 747,271 228,649 30.6
1995 1,263,064 357,732 28.3 592,390 151,417 25.6 670,674 206,315 30.8
1996 1,189,735 338,209 28.4 555,158 142,505 25.7 634,577 195,704 30.8
1997 1,057,299 324,213 30.7 498,637 139,003 27.9 558,662 185,210 33.2
1998 1,056,306 356,592 33.8 506,024 157,861 31.2 550,282 198,731 36.1
1999 1,049,989 362,246 34.5 502,870 162,036 32.2 547,119 200,210 36.6
2000 1,081,027 379,717 35.1 503,788 165,543 32.9 577,239 214,174 37.1
2001 1,155,398 405,803 35.1 505,146 171,400 33.9 650,252 234,403 36.0
2002 1,253,512 413,583 33.0 515,932 165,177 32.0 737,580 248,406 33.7
2003 1,327,731 427,173 32.2 515,627 163,726 31.8 812,104 263,447 32.4
2004 1,366,677 434,571 31.8 511,649 162,380 31.7 855,028 272,191 31.8
2005 1,333,047 418,474 31.4 501,512 156,015 31.1 831,535 262,459 31.6
2006 1,349,411 411,783 30.5 504,810 151,248 30.0 844,601 260,535 30.8
2007 1,351,470 413,771 30.6 503,679 149,772 29.7 847,791 263,999 31.1
2008 1,447,623 458,274 31.7 547,684 167,662 30.6 899,939 290,612 32.3
2009 1,662,395 517,545 31.1 636,810 191,630 30.1 1,025,585 325,915 31.8
2010 1,707,460 501,488 29.4 653,083 182,656 28.0 1,054,377 318,832 30.2
2011 1,681,984 473,246 28.1 654,730 171,854 26.2 1,027,254 301,392 29.3
2012 1,643,137 462,002 28.1 653,919 171,020 26.2 989,218 290,982 29.4
2013 1,516,276 427,423 28.2 617,586 161,321 26.1 898,690 266,102 29.6
2014 1,395,300 396,475 28.4 590,255 158,458 26.8 805,045 238,017 29.6
2015 1,292,688 368,256 28.5 574,057 156,751 27.3 718,631 211,505 29.4
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through June 2016.
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 subsequently denied for nonmedical reasons.
a. Rate determined by dividing medical allowances by all medical decisions for that year.
b. Includes applicants aged 65 or older.
CONTACT: (410) 965-0090 or statistics@ssa.gov.
Table 71. Medical decisions at the reconsideration level, by age, year of application, and program, 1992–2015
Year All decisions Decisions on applications for SSI 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 (percent)
  All ages b
1992 479,152 74,500 15.5 234,057 38,371 16.4 245,095 36,129 14.7
1993 557,384 75,559 13.6 280,174 38,663 13.8 277,210 36,896 13.3
1994 571,602 73,734 12.9 290,341 36,826 12.7 281,261 36,908 13.1
1995 522,987 66,780 12.8 275,013 33,432 12.2 247,974 33,348 13.4
1996 480,593 65,352 13.6 249,224 32,510 13.0 231,369 32,842 14.2
1997 409,396 62,496 15.3 208,993 31,881 15.3 200,403 30,615 15.3
1998 390,212 61,264 15.7 203,132 31,818 15.7 187,080 29,446 15.7
1999 382,196 55,620 14.6 197,671 28,498 14.4 184,525 27,122 14.7
2000 394,662 52,402 13.3 197,882 25,633 13.0 196,780 26,769 13.6
2001 419,766 53,611 12.8 196,541 25,001 12.7 223,225 28,610 12.8
2002 472,269 56,444 12.0 209,695 25,435 12.1 262,574 31,009 11.8
2003 502,907 58,160 11.6 209,116 24,920 11.9 293,791 33,240 11.3
2004 503,680 55,577 11.0 200,185 23,206 11.6 303,495 32,371 10.7
2005 487,236 53,613 11.0 195,288 23,049 11.8 291,948 30,564 10.5
2006 498,326 54,746 11.0 199,663 23,323 11.7 298,663 31,423 10.5
2007 513,013 58,570 11.4 206,399 24,483 11.9 306,614 34,087 11.1
2008 570,374 65,639 11.5 234,444 28,074 12.0 335,930 37,565 11.2
2009 670,502 71,015 10.6 280,394 30,703 10.9 390,108 40,312 10.3
2010 712,027 67,977 9.5 295,969 29,391 9.9 416,058 38,586 9.3
2011 726,028 67,704 9.3 306,412 29,310 9.6 419,616 38,394 9.1
2012 707,823 66,479 9.4 303,082 28,943 9.5 404,741 37,536 9.3
2013 652,444 60,102 9.2 281,670 26,238 9.3 370,774 33,864 9.1
2014 588,448 55,818 9.5 259,852 25,180 9.7 328,596 30,638 9.3
2015 440,035 41,489 9.4 201,163 19,609 9.7 238,872 21,880 9.2
  Under age 18
1992 49,099 9,570 19.5 44,562 8,590 19.3 4,537 980 21.6
1993 75,816 11,440 15.1 69,176 10,355 15.0 6,640 1,085 16.3
1994 91,854 11,475 12.5 83,789 10,461 12.5 8,065 1,014 12.6
1995 86,651 10,459 12.1 79,397 9,625 12.1 7,254 834 11.5
1996 74,836 9,646 12.9 68,797 8,863 12.9 6,039 783 13.0
1997 51,365 8,583 16.7 47,131 7,883 16.7 4,234 700 16.5
1998 49,909 8,042 16.1 45,989 7,417 16.1 3,920 625 15.9
1999 49,456 7,476 15.1 45,465 6,839 15.0 3,991 637 16.0
2000 49,350 7,232 14.7 45,330 6,650 14.7 4,020 582 14.5
2001 50,676 7,463 14.7 46,575 6,841 14.7 4,101 622 15.2
2002 57,688 8,120 14.1 52,949 7,361 13.9 4,739 759 16.0
2003 61,737 8,698 14.1 56,681 7,901 13.9 5,056 797 15.8
2004 60,382 8,122 13.5 55,394 7,424 13.4 4,988 698 14.0
2005 57,383 8,191 14.3 52,552 7,495 14.3 4,831 696 14.4
2006 60,742 8,670 14.3 55,704 7,930 14.2 5,038 740 14.7
2007 62,301 8,735 14.0 56,931 7,970 14.0 5,370 765 14.2
2008 68,493 9,910 14.5 62,718 9,048 14.4 5,775 862 14.9
2009 82,529 11,024 13.4 75,677 10,027 13.2 6,852 997 14.6
2010 84,992 10,927 12.9 77,911 9,982 12.8 7,081 945 13.3
2011 85,004 10,588 12.5 77,977 9,720 12.5 7,027 868 12.4
2012 81,675 9,997 12.2 75,110 9,163 12.2 6,565 834 12.7
2013 70,800 8,586 12.1 65,099 7,907 12.1 5,701 679 11.9
2014 61,061 7,868 12.9 56,359 7,275 12.9 4,702 593 12.6
2015 46,772 6,263 13.4 43,268 5,833 13.5 3,504 430 12.3
  Aged 18–64
1992 429,944 64,891 15.1 189,409 29,744 15.7 240,535 35,147 14.6
1993 481,434 64,074 13.3 210,882 28,268 13.4 270,552 35,806 13.2
1994 479,439 62,150 13.0 206,253 26,260 12.7 273,186 35,890 13.1
1995 435,988 56,205 12.9 195,281 23,695 12.1 240,707 32,510 13.5
1996 403,309 54,194 13.4 178,404 22,457 12.6 224,905 31,737 14.1
1997 355,514 52,588 14.8 159,694 22,951 14.4 195,820 29,637 15.1
1998 337,411 51,757 15.3 154,436 23,051 14.9 182,975 28,706 15.7
1999 330,830 47,239 14.3 150,460 20,861 13.9 180,370 26,378 14.6
2000 343,707 44,502 12.9 151,099 18,411 12.2 192,608 26,091 13.5
2001 367,515 45,455 12.4 148,582 17,596 11.8 218,933 27,859 12.7
2002 412,619 47,420 11.5 155,025 17,347 11.2 257,594 30,073 11.7
2003 439,703 48,840 11.1 151,200 16,549 10.9 288,503 32,291 11.2
2004 442,103 46,926 10.6 143,824 15,416 10.7 298,279 31,510 10.6
2005 428,808 44,793 10.4 141,922 15,112 10.6 286,886 29,681 10.3
2006 436,664 45,505 10.4 143,274 15,014 10.5 293,390 30,491 10.4
2007 449,903 49,651 11.0 148,909 16,343 11.0 300,994 33,308 11.1
2008 501,120 55,587 11.1 171,239 18,896 11.0 329,881 36,691 11.1
2009 587,281 59,868 10.2 204,295 20,568 10.1 382,986 39,300 10.3
2010 626,370 56,947 9.1 217,664 19,315 8.9 408,706 37,632 9.2
2011 640,437 57,039 8.9 228,099 19,522 8.6 412,338 37,517 9.1
2012 625,650 56,401 9.0 227,718 19,717 8.7 397,932 36,684 9.2
2013 581,274 51,465 8.9 216,365 18,289 8.5 364,909 33,176 9.1
2014 526,955 47,887 9.1 203,229 17,848 8.8 323,726 30,039 9.3
2015 392,828 35,182 9.0 157,666 13,741 8.7 235,162 21,441 9.1
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through June 2016.
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 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.
a. Rate determined by dividing medical allowances by all medical decisions for that year.
b. Includes applicants aged 65 or older.
CONTACT: (410) 965-0090 or statistics@ssa.gov.
Table 72. Medical decisions at the hearing level or above, by age, year of application, and program, 1992–2015
Year All decisions Decisions on applications for SSI 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 (percent)
  All ages b
1992 280,751 189,656 67.6 128,789 79,307 61.6 151,962 110,349 72.6
1993 327,271 205,185 62.7 153,126 85,195 55.6 174,145 119,990 68.9
1994 333,329 196,756 59.0 156,584 80,594 51.5 176,745 116,162 65.7
1995 300,958 170,826 56.8 145,570 70,445 48.4 155,388 100,381 64.6
1996 271,977 159,167 58.5 128,712 64,430 50.1 143,265 94,737 66.1
1997 238,765 145,150 60.8 112,218 59,766 53.3 126,547 85,384 67.5
1998 224,761 137,432 61.1 107,693 58,028 53.9 117,068 79,404 67.8
1999 231,530 142,355 61.5 111,215 59,903 53.9 120,315 82,452 68.5
2000 260,933 157,787 60.5 124,028 65,071 52.5 136,905 92,716 67.7
2001 283,318 170,567 60.2 126,615 65,611 51.8 156,703 104,956 67.0
2002 321,418 193,520 60.2 134,930 69,256 51.3 186,488 124,264 66.6
2003 340,589 206,488 60.6 131,931 67,627 51.3 208,658 138,861 66.5
2004 343,014 211,090 61.5 125,640 65,327 52.0 217,374 145,763 67.1
2005 332,314 207,912 62.6 122,476 65,009 53.1 209,838 142,903 68.1
2006 341,311 212,075 62.1 125,151 66,322 53.0 216,160 145,753 67.4
2007 350,893 215,554 61.4 129,493 68,555 52.9 221,400 146,999 66.4
2008 392,698 233,580 59.5 149,114 76,266 51.1 243,584 157,314 64.6
2009 465,990 257,392 55.2 181,102 85,212 47.1 284,888 172,180 60.4
2010 505,765 254,267 50.3 195,544 82,391 42.1 310,221 171,876 55.4
2011 517,946 240,247 46.4 204,569 79,032 38.6 313,377 161,215 51.4
2012 491,804 215,007 43.7 196,822 71,544 36.3 294,982 143,463 48.6
2013 376,949 170,741 45.3 151,937 57,347 37.7 225,012 113,394 50.4
2014 126,691 57,169 45.1 50,162 18,629 37.1 76,529 38,540 50.4
2015 13,929 5,358 38.5 6,130 1,782 29.1 7,799 3,576 45.9
  Under age 18
1992 19,988 7,729 38.7 17,979 6,890 38.3 2,009 839 41.8
1993 31,658 10,921 34.5 28,625 9,784 34.2 3,033 1,137 37.5
1994 38,751 13,222 34.1 34,869 11,860 34.0 3,882 1,362 35.1
1995 35,856 11,285 31.5 32,428 10,131 31.2 3,428 1,154 33.7
1996 28,105 9,153 32.6 25,589 8,295 32.4 2,516 858 34.1
1997 19,549 7,300 37.3 17,723 6,594 37.2 1,826 706 38.7
1998 18,904 7,249 38.3 17,199 6,550 38.1 1,705 699 41.0
1999 20,903 8,082 38.7 18,986 7,293 38.4 1,917 789 41.2
2000 25,201 9,365 37.2 22,916 8,426 36.8 2,285 939 41.1
2001 26,841 9,848 36.7 24,497 8,899 36.3 2,344 949 40.5
2002 30,504 11,041 36.2 27,854 9,987 35.9 2,650 1,054 39.8
2003 31,571 11,373 36.0 28,731 10,243 35.7 2,840 1,130 39.8
2004 30,687 11,094 36.2 27,902 9,942 35.6 2,785 1,152 41.4
2005 28,714 10,548 36.7 26,065 9,427 36.2 2,649 1,121 42.3
2006 30,185 11,556 38.3 27,450 10,375 37.8 2,735 1,181 43.2
2007 30,931 11,869 38.4 27,929 10,562 37.8 3,002 1,307 43.5
2008 33,949 12,396 36.5 30,726 11,040 35.9 3,223 1,356 42.1
2009 42,172 13,740 32.6 38,315 12,289 32.1 3,857 1,451 37.6
2010 43,343 12,679 29.3 39,378 11,380 28.9 3,965 1,299 32.8
2011 43,801 12,149 27.7 39,872 10,867 27.3 3,929 1,282 32.6
2012 40,893 10,649 26.0 37,312 9,595 25.7 3,581 1,054 29.4
2013 29,372 8,267 28.1 26,908 7,432 27.6 2,464 835 33.9
2014 8,526 2,297 26.9 7,832 2,098 26.8 694 199 28.7
2015 844 173 20.5 788 163 20.7 56 10 17.9
  Aged 18–64
1992 260,727 181,899 69.8 110,785 72,398 65.4 149,942 109,501 73.0
1993 295,551 194,215 65.7 124,445 75,368 60.6 171,106 118,847 69.5
1994 294,441 183,449 62.3 121,584 68,654 56.5 172,857 114,795 66.4
1995 264,954 159,444 60.2 113,002 60,224 53.3 151,952 99,220 65.3
1996 243,064 149,301 61.4 102,414 55,516 54.2 140,650 93,785 66.7
1997 218,255 137,054 62.8 93,599 52,430 56.0 124,656 84,624 67.9
1998 204,894 129,421 63.2 89,580 50,760 56.7 115,314 78,661 68.2
1999 210,020 133,802 63.7 91,668 52,179 56.9 118,352 81,623 69.0
2000 235,110 147,974 62.9 100,534 56,232 55.9 134,576 91,742 68.2
2001 255,887 160,297 62.6 101,572 56,321 55.4 154,315 103,976 67.4
2002 290,161 182,002 62.7 106,370 58,825 55.3 183,791 123,177 67.0
2003 308,419 194,719 63.1 102,667 57,040 55.6 205,752 137,679 66.9
2004 311,827 199,638 64.0 97,293 55,061 56.6 214,534 144,577 67.4
2005 303,336 197,214 65.0 96,180 55,454 57.7 207,156 141,760 68.4
2006 310,911 200,374 64.4 97,519 55,831 57.3 213,392 144,543 67.7
2007 319,760 203,598 63.7 101,390 57,917 57.1 218,370 145,681 66.7
2008 358,585 221,102 61.7 118,252 65,153 55.1 240,333 155,949 64.9
2009 423,663 243,579 57.5 142,668 72,864 51.1 280,995 170,715 60.8
2010 462,252 241,506 52.2 156,032 70,943 45.5 306,220 170,563 55.7
2011 474,039 228,057 48.1 164,616 68,132 41.4 309,423 159,925 51.7
2012 450,821 204,323 45.3 159,448 61,921 38.8 291,373 142,402 48.9
2013 347,519 162,450 46.7 124,989 49,899 39.9 222,530 112,551 50.6
2014 118,122 54,850 46.4 42,304 16,519 39.0 75,818 38,331 50.6
2015 13,054 5,175 39.6 5,328 1,615 30.3 7,726 3,560 46.1
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through July 2016.
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 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.
a. Rate determined by dividing medical allowances by all medical decisions for that year.
b. Includes applicants aged 65 or older.
CONTACT: (410) 965-0090 or statistics@ssa.gov.
Table 73. Percentage distribution of final medical allowances, by age, year of application, and reason for allowance, 1992–2015
Year Total Meets level of severity of listings a Under age 18 only Aged 18 or older only Other a,b
Number Percent Medically equals level of severity of listings Functionally equals level of severity of listings Equals level of severity of listings Medical and vocational factors considered
  All ages c
1992 951,118 100.0 36.6 1.5 1.3 7.5 18.6 34.4
1993 968,374 100.0 36.5 1.5 1.6 5.5 17.4 37.6
1994 848,211 100.0 36.8 1.5 2.1 4.4 18.1 37.1
1995 745,348 100.0 35.8 1.6 2.5 4.3 18.6 37.2
1996 733,450 100.0 35.9 1.8 3.3 4.4 17.4 37.2
1997 666,943 100.0 37.6 1.8 4.3 4.7 18.4 33.3
1998 719,386 100.0 38.2 1.9 4.8 4.2 20.0 30.9
1999 731,105 100.0 36.5 2.0 5.3 3.9 20.8 31.4
2000 764,621 100.0 35.0 1.9 6.1 4.2 21.3 31.5
2001 817,110 100.0 34.6 1.8 6.9 4.2 22.1 30.4
2002 866,465 100.0 33.0 1.7 7.8 3.7 21.6 32.2
2003 895,968 100.0 32.0 1.6 8.7 3.6 21.8 32.2
2004 906,252 100.0 31.2 1.5 9.3 3.6 22.4 32.1
2005 877,874 100.0 30.4 1.4 9.4 3.4 22.7 32.7
2006 869,143 100.0 29.9 1.3 9.9 3.3 22.3 33.4
2007 856,353 100.0 30.2 1.3 10.5 3.5 23.2 31.4
2008 935,687 100.0 29.5 1.2 10.1 3.8 24.5 30.9
2009 1,047,451 100.0 28.7 1.2 10.4 3.9 25.8 30.0
2010 1,016,412 100.0 27.7 1.2 10.7 3.9 26.0 30.5
2011 966,415 100.0 27.5 1.2 10.7 3.9 26.5 30.1
2012 924,397 100.0 27.6 1.4 10.9 4.0 27.5 28.7
2013 823,228 100.0 29.1 1.4 11.1 3.9 27.7 26.8
2014 671,451 100.0 34.3 1.5 13.3 4.3 31.3 15.3
2015 581,082 100.0 40.7 1.5 13.9 4.4 31.8 7.7
  Under age 18
1992 211,793 100.0 48.3 6.9 5.9 . . . . . . 38.9
1993 241,085 100.0 44.9 5.9 6.4 . . . . . . 42.7
1994 202,357 100.0 45.6 6.5 8.6 . . . . . . 39.3
1995 170,884 100.0 44.8 7.0 11.0 . . . . . . 37.2
1996 152,174 100.0 52.7 8.7 16.0 . . . . . . 22.6
1997 128,270 100.0 55.8 9.2 22.1 . . . . . . 12.9
1998 145,020 100.0 55.6 9.6 23.6 . . . . . . 11.2
1999 150,821 100.0 53.1 9.7 25.8 . . . . . . 11.4
2000 160,085 100.0 50.1 9.2 28.9 . . . . . . 11.8
2001 175,092 100.0 48.2 8.2 32.4 . . . . . . 11.2
2002 189,680 100.0 45.2 7.6 35.8 . . . . . . 11.3
2003 198,122 100.0 43.5 7.4 39.3 . . . . . . 9.8
2004 199,396 100.0 42.0 6.6 42.3 . . . . . . 9.1
2005 187,772 100.0 39.9 6.5 44.2 . . . . . . 9.5
2006 186,318 100.0 37.9 5.9 46.2 . . . . . . 10.1
2007 185,104 100.0 37.0 5.8 48.4 . . . . . . 8.7
2008 197,242 100.0 37.7 5.8 47.8 . . . . . . 8.7
2009 223,167 100.0 37.0 5.5 49.0 . . . . . . 8.5
2010 213,706 100.0 35.8 5.6 50.9 . . . . . . 7.7
2011 205,940 100.0 36.7 5.8 50.1 . . . . . . 7.3
2012 199,462 100.0 36.5 6.3 50.7 . . . . . . 6.4
2013 180,125 100.0 37.6 6.3 50.6 . . . . . . 5.5
2014 170,652 100.0 39.3 6.0 52.4 . . . . . . 2.3
2015 170,980 100.0 46.8 5.2 47.1 . . . . . . 0.9
  Aged 18–64
1992 738,836 100.0 33.3 . . . . . . 9.7 23.9 33.2
1993 726,766 100.0 33.7 . . . . . . 7.3 23.1 35.9
1994 644,866 100.0 34.0 . . . . . . 5.8 23.8 36.4
1995 573,381 100.0 33.2 . . . . . . 5.6 24.0 37.2
1996 541,704 100.0 33.7 . . . . . . 5.9 23.3 37.1
1997 513,855 100.0 34.5 . . . . . . 6.1 22.6 36.9
1998 537,770 100.0 35.5 . . . . . . 5.5 23.9 35.1
1999 544,767 100.0 33.9 . . . . . . 5.2 25.0 35.8
2000 572,193 100.0 32.4 . . . . . . 5.5 26.2 35.8
2001 611,555 100.0 32.3 . . . . . . 5.5 27.6 34.6
2002 643,005 100.0 30.9 . . . . . . 5.0 27.2 36.9
2003 670,732 100.0 29.8 . . . . . . 4.8 27.9 37.5
2004 681,135 100.0 29.1 . . . . . . 4.7 28.9 37.3
2005 660,481 100.0 28.9 . . . . . . 4.5 29.3 37.2
2006 657,662 100.0 28.7 . . . . . . 4.4 28.7 38.2
2007 667,020 100.0 28.4 . . . . . . 4.5 29.3 37.9
2008 734,963 100.0 27.4 . . . . . . 4.8 30.8 36.9
2009 820,992 100.0 26.6 . . . . . . 4.9 32.5 35.9
2010 799,941 100.0 25.6 . . . . . . 4.9 32.8 36.7
2011 758,342 100.0 25.1 . . . . . . 4.9 33.6 36.4
2012 722,945 100.0 25.2 . . . . . . 5.0 34.9 34.9
2013 641,552 100.0 26.8 . . . . . . 5.0 35.4 32.8
2014 499,459 100.0 32.7 . . . . . . 5.7 41.9 19.7
2015 408,826 100.0 38.3 . . . . . . 6.2 45.0 10.5
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through June 2016. Data for the hearing level or above are current through July 2016.
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 subsequently denied for nonmedical reasons.
Includes decisions for SSI-only applications and applications for both Social Security and SSI. Does not include Social Security–only applications.
. . . = not applicable.
a. Includes all age groups.
b. Includes applications for which the disability was previously established and those for which the basis for the determination is not available. For final determinations made in or before August 1996 for applicants under age 18, also includes applications allowed because individual functional assessment showed impairment of comparable severity.
c. Includes applicants aged 65 or older.
CONTACT: (410) 965-0090 or statistics@ssa.gov.
Table 74. Percentage distribution of final medical denials, by age, year of application, and reason for denial, 1992–2015
Year Total Impairment did not or is not expected to last 12 months Impairment is not severe Impairment does not cause severe functional limitations a Able to do usual past work b Able to do other type of work b Other c
Number Percent
  All ages d
1992 743,395 100.0 7.3 22.1 . . . 17.5 26.3 26.9
1993 939,357 100.0 6.6 21.2 . . . 15.4 24.8 31.9
1994 1,043,113 100.0 6.2 20.7 . . . 13.6 23.3 36.1
1995 996,529 100.0 6.2 19.7 . . . 12.4 22.4 39.2
1996 940,293 100.0 6.4 20.6 5.8 12.1 22.9 32.2
1997 740,882 100.0 6.8 16.7 16.2 13.0 25.1 22.1
1998 705,162 100.0 6.9 15.0 18.3 14.7 25.4 19.9
1999 691,487 100.0 6.6 14.0 19.1 15.5 24.5 20.2
2000 691,810 100.0 6.5 13.3 18.7 15.8 24.2 21.5
2001 728,984 100.0 6.1 13.2 18.2 16.6 26.1 19.8
2002 814,108 100.0 5.7 13.0 18.2 17.0 26.6 19.6
2003 874,004 100.0 5.1 12.1 18.6 17.2 27.4 19.6
2004 908,230 100.0 4.8 11.3 18.6 16.9 27.8 20.7
2005 884,776 100.0 4.5 11.1 18.0 16.4 28.1 21.9
2006 911,923 100.0 4.3 11.3 18.2 16.4 28.3 21.5
2007 924,323 100.0 4.3 10.8 18.1 16.4 27.8 22.6
2008 955,310 100.0 4.0 10.3 18.0 16.8 28.7 22.1
2009 1,118,441 100.0 3.3 10.3 18.2 16.9 30.2 21.1
2010 1,191,903 100.0 2.9 10.6 17.8 16.5 31.1 21.2
2011 1,202,200 100.0 2.9 10.3 17.5 13.3 33.8 22.2
2012 1,178,596 100.0 2.9 9.9 17.5 9.7 39.2 20.9
2013 1,027,874 100.0 2.9 9.9 17.7 8.0 40.4 21.1
2014 840,011 100.0 2.9 9.7 19.0 6.7 38.4 23.2
2015 787,492 100.0 3.1 9.1 19.5 5.4 38.2 24.7
  Under age 18
1992 148,324 100.0 1.5 22.7 . . . . . . . . . 75.8
1993 240,803 100.0 1.3 21.8 . . . . . . . . . 76.9
1994 311,284 100.0 1.4 22.4 . . . . . . . . . 76.2
1995 306,390 100.0 1.3 21.8 . . . . . . . . . 76.9
1996 291,351 100.0 1.4 26.9 18.7 . . . . . . 53.0
1997 195,799 100.0 1.6 19.1 61.4 . . . . . . 18.0
1998 182,668 100.0 1.3 14.4 70.6 . . . . . . 13.7
1999 182,358 100.0 1.1 13.3 72.4 . . . . . . 13.2
2000 179,615 100.0 1.1 13.2 72.1 . . . . . . 13.6
2001 182,150 100.0 1.1 14.0 73.0 . . . . . . 11.9
2002 200,600 100.0 1.0 13.4 73.9 . . . . . . 11.8
2003 214,674 100.0 0.9 12.3 75.9 . . . . . . 10.9
2004 220,735 100.0 0.8 10.9 76.5 . . . . . . 11.8
2005 210,577 100.0 0.9 11.0 75.6 . . . . . . 12.6
2006 218,816 100.0 0.8 11.3 75.9 . . . . . . 12.0
2007 219,220 100.0 0.9 11.3 76.5 . . . . . . 11.4
2008 221,575 100.0 0.9 10.7 77.6 . . . . . . 10.8
2009 258,635 100.0 0.8 10.0 78.6 . . . . . . 10.6
2010 267,784 100.0 0.7 10.1 79.0 . . . . . . 10.2
2011 264,762 100.0 0.7 10.4 79.6 . . . . . . 9.3
2012 256,921 100.0 0.7 10.4 80.1 . . . . . . 8.8
2013 227,756 100.0 0.7 10.1 80.0 . . . . . . 9.2
2014 200,769 100.0 0.6 10.0 79.5 . . . . . . 9.8
2015 193,800 100.0 0.6 9.8 79.3 . . . . . . 10.3
  Aged 18–64
1992 594,906 100.0 8.8 21.9 . . . 21.8 32.8 14.7
1993 698,397 100.0 8.4 21.0 . . . 20.7 33.4 16.4
1994 731,456 100.0 8.3 20.0 . . . 19.4 33.2 19.1
1995 689,683 100.0 8.4 18.8 . . . 17.9 32.4 22.5
1996 648,031 100.0 8.6 17.8 . . . 17.5 33.3 22.8
1997 543,444 100.0 8.8 15.8 . . . 17.7 34.2 23.6
1998 518,536 100.0 8.9 14.9 . . . 19.7 34.4 22.0
1999 505,406 100.0 8.7 14.1 . . . 21.0 33.5 22.7
2000 508,834 100.0 8.4 13.2 . . . 21.3 32.8 24.3
2001 543,843 100.0 7.8 12.8 . . . 22.1 35.0 22.3
2002 610,507 100.0 7.3 12.7 . . . 22.5 35.4 22.1
2003 656,999 100.0 6.5 11.9 . . . 22.7 36.4 22.4
2004 685,542 100.0 6.0 11.4 . . . 22.3 36.8 23.5
2005 672,566 100.0 5.6 11.1 . . . 21.5 36.9 24.7
2006 691,749 100.0 5.4 11.3 . . . 21.6 37.2 24.5
2007 684,450 100.0 5.5 10.9 . . . 22.1 37.5 23.9
2008 712,660 100.0 5.1 10.5 . . . 22.5 38.5 23.4
2009 837,846 100.0 4.2 10.6 . . . 22.5 40.4 22.3
2010 902,333 100.0 3.7 11.0 . . . 21.7 41.0 22.6
2011 914,917 100.0 3.5 10.5 . . . 17.5 44.4 24.0
2012 900,938 100.0 3.5 10.0 . . . 12.7 51.3 22.5
2013 778,765 100.0 3.7 10.1 . . . 10.5 53.3 22.5
2014 617,507 100.0 3.8 9.9 . . . 9.1 52.2 24.9
2015 571,712 100.0 4.0 9.2 . . . 7.5 52.6 26.7
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through June 2016. Data for the hearing level or above are current through July 2016.
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 subsequently denied for nonmedical reasons.
Includes decisions for SSI-only applications and applications for both Social Security and SSI. Does not include Social Security–only applications.
. . . = not applicable.
a. Used only for applicants under age 18. Category effective for final determinations made August 1996 or later.
b. Used only for applicants aged 18 or older.
c. Applicant provided insufficient 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. For final determinations made August 1996 or before for applicants under age 18, also includes claims denied because individual functional assessment showed impairment not of comparable severity.
d. Includes applicants aged 65 or older.
CONTACT: (410) 965-0090 or statistics@ssa.gov.