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 53 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 54–56 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 57 and 58). 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.

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits
Table 53.
Outcomes at all adjudicative levels, by age and year of application, 1992–2003
Medical decisions
Denials
Year

Pending
Total final decision

Technical
denials a

Allowances

Subsequent
Medical nonmedical d

Awards

Subsequent
denials e

Award
rate b
(percent)

All ages f
1992
1993
1994

1,828,951
2,048,945
2,014,499

0
0
0

134,438
141,214
123,175

741,839
937,757
1,041,432

1,556
1,600
1,681

860,875
878,932
770,905

90,243
89,442
77,306

47.1
42.9
38.3

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

1,845,212
1,786,770
1,505,145
1,520,538
1,528,217

0
0
2,222
2,944
4,532

103,335
113,027
97,320
95,990
105,819

995,249
938,577
736,933
699,024
685,649

1,343
1,886
2,074
3,830
4,002

683,787
671,729
605,871
655,925
663,805

61,498
61,551
60,725
62,825
64,410

37.1
37.6
40.3
43.2
43.6

2000
2001
2002
2003

1,612,826
1,749,572
1,959,337
2,080,479

10,037
32,375
124,849
251,560

156,525
203,387
279,522
342,535

683,660
709,814
763,028
796,536

3,822
3,491
3,123
2,318

689,861
724,484
715,399
623,017

68,921
76,021
73,416
64,513

43.0
42.2
39.0
34.1

Under age 18
1992
1993
1994

376,812
500,676
530,538

0
0
0

16,695
18,788
16,897

148,221
240,668
311,137

103
135
147

204,083
232,344
194,655

7,710
8,741
7,702

54.2
46.4
36.7

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

491,638
457,057
334,975
338,592
345,067

0
0
149
208
331

14,364
13,532
10,906
10,904
11,898

306,301
291,273
195,592
182,416
182,155

92
86
69
74
68

163,893
144,662
121,428
137,625
142,803

6,988
7,504
6,831
7,365
7,812

33.3
31.7
36.3
40.7
41.4

2000
2001
2002
2003

355,477
375,975
413,007
432,887

786
2,933
12,588
25,676

15,775
18,710
22,759
25,857

179,049
180,138
192,594
196,967

64
61
67
45

151,841
165,612
176,275
175,663

7,962
8,521
8,724
8,679

42.8
44.4
44.0
43.1

Aged 18–64
1992
1993
1994

1,451,417
1,547,527
1,482,503

0
0
0

117,675
122,364
106,181

593,455
696,934
729,927

1,451
1,463
1,529

656,374
646,157
575,431

82,462
80,609
69,435

45.2
41.8
38.8

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

1,351,903
1,277,604
1,135,602
1,133,015
1,133,722

0
0
2,067
2,733
4,193

88,839
87,869
78,303
76,709
83,733

688,499
646,659
540,257
514,550
502,164

1,244
1,534
1,456
1,859
1,541

518,981
488,052
460,664
483,286
486,658

54,340
53,490
52,855
53,878
55,433

38.4
38.2
40.6
42.8
43.1

2000
2001
2002
2003

1,208,866
1,323,142
1,483,914
1,589,384

9,242
29,412
112,126
225,584

127,968
167,675
231,073
287,615

503,581
528,743
569,433
598,903

1,422
1,388
1,223
862

506,661
529,321
506,260
421,274

59,992
66,603
63,799
55,146

42.2
40.9
36.9
30.9

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through June 2003. Data for the hearing level or above are current through
September 2003.
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.
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. 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 denied for nonmedical reasons after a decision was made that applicant did not meet the medical severity criteria for disability
benefits.
e. Applications denied for nonmedical reasons after a decision was made that applicant met the medical severity criteria for disability benefits.
f.

Includes applicants aged 65 or older.

CONTACT: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or ssi.asr@ssa.gov.

File available from:
Social Security Administration, Office of Policy
SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2004
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_asr/2004/

for Disability Benefits

Allowance
rate c
(percent)

56.1
50.8
44.8
42.8
43.8
47.4
50.6
51.4
52.5
52.9
50.7
46.3

58.8
50.0
39.4
35.8
34.3
39.6
44.3
45.3
47.2
49.1
49.0
48.3

55.4
51.0
46.9
45.4
45.5
48.7
51.0
51.8
52.9
52.9
50.0
44.3

above are current through
over time. Cases can be

al Security–only

everity criteria for disability

iteria for disability benefits.

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits
Table 54.
Medical decisions at the initial adjudicative level, by age, year of application,
and program, 1992–2003
Decisions on applications
for SSI only

All decisions

Year

Total

Allowances

Allowance
rate a
(percent)

Total

Allowances
All ages

Decisions on applications
for both Social Security and SSI

Allowance
rate a
(percent)

Total

Allowances

b

1992
1993
1994

1,694,513
1,907,731
1,891,324

686,962
687,630
577,721

40.5
36.0
30.5

946,348
1,106,624
1,105,532

399,334
409,102
335,756

42.2
37.0
30.4

748,165
801,107
785,792

287,628
278,528
241,965

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

1,741,877
1,673,743
1,407,825
1,424,548
1,422,398

507,742
508,931
459,297
520,690
531,498

29.1
30.4
32.6
36.6
37.4

1,037,201
1,000,530
820,527
843,671
843,031

291,168
296,655
260,354
304,856
312,871

28.1
29.6
31.7
36.1
37.1

704,676
673,213
587,298
580,877
579,367

216,574
212,276
198,943
215,834
218,627

2000
2001
2002
2003

1,456,301
1,546,185
1,679,661
1,737,617

556,990
595,925
617,833
620,985

38.2
38.5
36.8
35.7

845,623
860,922
914,195
923,377

321,029
338,218
349,514
346,539

38.0
39.3
38.2
37.5

610,678
685,263
765,466
814,240

235,961
257,707
268,319
274,446

Under age 18
1992
1993
1994

360,117
481,888
513,641

194,494
218,724
177,660

54.0
45.4
34.6

329,316
443,778
475,233

176,929
200,206
164,436

53.7
45.1
34.6

30,801
38,110
38,408

17,565
18,518
13,224

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

477,274
443,525
324,069
327,688
333,169

149,140
133,375
112,387
129,729
135,117

31.2
30.1
34.7
39.6
40.6

443,367
413,379
302,540
306,164
310,763

138,959
124,846
105,366
121,371
126,253

31.3
30.2
34.8
39.6
40.6

33,907
30,146
21,529
21,524
22,406

10,181
8,529
7,021
8,358
8,864

2000
2001
2002
2003

339,702
357,265
390,189
407,014

143,267
157,730
170,383
176,076

42.2
44.1
43.7
43.3

316,328
332,724
364,573
383,098

133,426
146,688
159,492
166,513

42.2
44.1
43.7
43.5

23,374
24,541
25,616
23,916

9,841
11,042
10,891
9,563

Aged 18–64
1992
1993
1994

1,333,742
1,425,163
1,376,322

492,046
468,477
399,267

36.9
32.9
29.0

616,523
662,298
629,051

222,077
208,554
170,618

36.0
31.5
27.1

717,219
762,865
747,271

269,969
259,923
228,649

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

1,263,064
1,189,735
1,057,299
1,056,306
1,049,989

357,732
338,209
324,213
356,592
362,246

28.3
28.4
30.7
33.8
34.5

592,390
555,158
498,637
506,024
502,870

151,417
142,505
139,003
157,861
162,036

25.6
25.7
27.9
31.2
32.2

670,674
634,577
558,662
550,282
547,119

206,315
195,704
185,210
198,731
200,210

2000
2001
2002
2003

1,080,898
1,155,467
1,252,746
1,301,460

382,587
408,901
414,967
418,843

35.4
35.4
33.1
32.2

503,636
505,101
524,524
523,442

166,188
172,232
168,800
165,948

33.0
34.1
32.2
31.7

577,262
650,366
728,222
778,018

216,399
236,669
246,167
252,895

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through June 2003.
Because a number of applications remain pending for more recent years, the award and allowance rates 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: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or ssi.asr@ssa.gov.

File available from:
Social Security Administration, Office of Policy
SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2004
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_asr/2004/

for Disability Benefits

sions on applications
Social Security and SSI
Allowance
rate a
(percent)

38.4
34.8
30.8
30.7
31.5
33.9
37.2
37.7
38.6
37.6
35.1
33.7

57.0
48.6
34.4
30.0
28.3
32.6
38.8
39.6
42.1
45.0
42.5
40.0

37.6
34.1
30.6
30.8
30.8
33.2
36.1
36.6
37.5
36.4
33.8
32.5

over time.

dical reasons.

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits
Table 55.
Medical decisions at the reconsideration level, by age, year of application,
and program, 1992–2003
Decisions on applications
for SSI only

All decisions

Year

Total

Allowances

Allowance
rate a
(percent)

Total

Allowances
All ages

Decisions on applications
for both Social Security and SSI

Allowance
rate a
(percent)

Total

Allowances

b

1992
1993
1994

479,152
557,384
571,602

74,500
75,559
73,734

15.5
13.6
12.9

234,057
280,174
290,341

38,371
38,663
36,826

16.4
13.8
12.7

245,095
277,210
281,261

36,129
36,896
36,908

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

522,987
480,593
409,396
390,212
382,196

66,780
65,355
62,505
61,271
55,635

12.8
13.6
15.3
15.7
14.6

275,013
249,224
208,993
203,132
197,671

33,432
32,511
31,881
31,818
28,501

12.2
13.0
15.3
15.7
14.4

247,974
231,369
200,403
187,080
184,525

33,348
32,844
30,624
29,453
27,134

2000
2001
2002
2003

382,757
407,299
453,821
396,677

53,166
53,499
54,818
39,059

13.9
13.1
12.1
9.8

192,285
190,634
205,410
173,805

26,456
25,401
25,616
18,738

13.8
13.3
12.5
10.8

190,472
216,665
248,411
222,872

26,710
28,098
29,202
20,321

Under age 18
1992
1993
1994

49,099
75,816
91,854

9,570
11,440
11,475

19.5
15.1
12.5

44,562
69,176
83,789

8,590
10,355
10,461

19.3
15.0
12.5

4,537
6,640
8,065

980
1,085
1,014

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

86,651
74,836
51,365
49,909
49,456

10,459
9,646
8,583
8,042
7,476

12.1
12.9
16.7
16.1
15.1

79,397
68,797
47,131
45,989
45,465

9,625
8,863
7,883
7,417
6,839

12.1
12.9
16.7
16.1
15.0

7,254
6,039
4,234
3,920
3,991

834
783
700
625
637

2000
2001
2002
2003

48,361
49,495
55,949
49,915

7,514
7,649
8,214
6,686

15.5
15.5
14.7
13.4

44,462
45,567
51,738
46,552

6,951
7,069
7,602
6,306

15.6
15.5
14.7
13.5

3,899
3,928
4,211
3,363

563
580
612
380

Aged 18–64
1992
1993
1994

429,944
481,434
479,439

64,891
64,074
62,150

15.1
13.3
13.0

189,409
210,882
206,253

29,744
28,268
26,260

15.7
13.4
12.7

240,535
270,552
273,186

35,147
35,806
35,890

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

435,988
403,309
355,514
337,411
330,830

56,205
54,197
52,597
51,764
47,254

12.9
13.4
14.8
15.3
14.3

195,281
178,404
159,694
154,436
150,460

23,695
22,458
22,951
23,051
20,864

12.1
12.6
14.4
14.9
13.9

240,707
224,905
195,820
182,975
180,370

32,510
31,739
29,646
28,713
26,390

2000
2001
2002
2003

332,767
356,236
396,041
345,549

44,891
45,104
45,694
31,796

13.5
12.7
11.5
9.2

146,383
143,740
152,102
126,274

18,874
17,767
17,310
12,038

12.9
12.4
11.4
9.5

186,384
212,496
243,939
219,275

26,017
27,337
28,384
19,758

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through June 2003.
Because a number of applications remain pending for more recent years, the award and allowance rates 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: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or ssi.asr@ssa.gov.

File available from:
Social Security Administration, Office of Policy
SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2004
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_asr/2004/

for Disability Benefits

sions on applications
Social Security and SSI
Allowance
rate a
(percent)

14.7
13.3
13.1
13.4
14.2
15.3
15.7
14.7
14.0
13.0
11.8
9.1

21.6
16.3
12.6
11.5
13.0
16.5
15.9
16.0
14.4
14.8
14.5
11.3

14.6
13.2
13.1
13.5
14.1
15.1
15.7
14.6
14.0
12.9
11.6
9.0

over time.

dical reasons.

ectly to the hearing level

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits
Table 56.
Medical decisions at the hearing level or above, by age, year of application,
and program, 1992–2003
Decisions on applications
for SSI only

All decisions

Year

Total

Allowances

Allowance
rate a
(percent)

Total

Allowances
All ages

Decisions on applications
for both Social Security and SSI

Allowance
rate a
(percent)

Total

Allowances

b

1992
1993
1994

280,751
327,271
333,329

189,656
205,185
196,756

67.6
62.7
59.0

128,789
153,126
156,584

79,307
85,195
80,594

61.6
55.6
51.5

151,962
174,145
176,745

110,349
119,990
116,162

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

300,958
271,974
236,513
221,810
226,982

170,763
158,994
144,794
136,789
141,082

56.7
58.5
61.2
61.7
62.2

145,570
128,711
111,233
106,325
109,077

70,419
64,352
59,609
57,717
59,306

48.4
50.0
53.6
54.3
54.4

155,388
143,263
125,280
115,485
117,905

100,344
94,642
85,185
79,072
81,776

2000
2001
2002
2003

241,253
242,041
182,358
42,332

148,626
151,081
116,164
27,486

61.6
62.4
63.7
64.9

114,612
107,306
77,514
18,594

60,942
57,189
41,687
9,804

53.2
53.3
53.8
52.7

126,641
134,735
104,844
23,738

87,684
93,892
74,477
17,682

Under age 18
1992
1993
1994

19,988
31,658
38,751

7,729
10,921
13,222

38.7
34.5
34.1

17,979
28,625
34,869

6,890
9,784
11,860

38.3
34.2
34.0

2,009
3,033
3,882

839
1,137
1,362

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

35,856
28,105
19,400
18,696
20,572

11,282
9,145
7,289
7,219
8,022

31.5
32.5
37.6
38.6
39.0

32,428
25,589
17,584
17,014
18,691

10,128
8,288
6,584
6,523
7,241

31.2
32.4
37.4
38.3
38.7

3,428
2,516
1,816
1,682
1,881

1,154
857
705
696
781

2000
2001
2002
2003

23,792
23,224
16,916
3,930

9,022
8,754
6,402
1,580

37.9
37.7
37.8
40.2

21,643
21,200
15,567
3,672

8,120
7,909
5,876
1,492

37.5
37.3
37.7
40.6

2,149
2,024
1,349
258

902
845
526
88

Aged 18–64
1992
1993
1994

260,727
295,551
294,441

181,899
194,215
183,449

69.8
65.7
62.3

110,785
124,445
121,584

72,398
75,368
68,654

65.4
60.6
56.5

149,942
171,106
172,857

109,501
118,847
114,795

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

264,954
243,061
216,158
202,154
205,811

159,384
149,136
136,709
128,808
132,591

60.2
61.4
63.2
63.7
64.4

113,002
102,413
92,759
88,400
89,833

60,201
55,445
52,283
50,476
51,636

53.3
54.1
56.4
57.1
57.5

151,952
140,648
123,399
113,754
115,978

99,183
93,691
84,426
78,332
80,955

2000
2001
2002
2003

216,881
218,279
164,926
38,215

139,175
141,919
109,398
25,781

64.2
65.0
66.3
67.5

92,439
85,613
61,468
14,756

52,434
48,904
35,475
8,207

56.7
57.1
57.7
55.6

124,442
132,666
103,458
23,459

86,741
93,015
73,923
17,574

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through September 2003.
Because a number of applications remain pending for more recent years, the award and allowance rates 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: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or ssi.asr@ssa.gov.

File available from:
Social Security Administration, Office of Policy
SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2004
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_asr/2004/

for Disability Benefits

sions on applications
Social Security and SSI
Allowance
rate a
(percent)

72.6
68.9
65.7
64.6
66.1
68.0
68.5
69.4
69.2
69.7
71.0
74.5

41.8
37.5
35.1
33.7
34.1
38.8
41.4
41.5
42.0
41.7
39.0
34.1

73.0
69.5
66.4
65.3
66.6
68.4
68.9
69.8
69.7
70.1
71.5
74.9

over time.

dical reasons.

ectly to the hearing level

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits
Table 57.
Percentage distribution of final medical allowances, by age, year of application,
and reason for allowance, 1992–2003
Under age 18 only

Total
Year

Number

Percent

Meets level
of severity
of listings a

Medically
equals level
of severity
of listings

Aged 18 or older only

Functionally
equals level
of severity
of listings

Equals level
of severity
of listings

Medical and
vocational
factors
considered

All ages c
1992
1993
1994

951,118
968,374
848,211

100.0
100.0
100.0

36.6
36.5
36.8

1.5
1.5
1.5

1.3
1.6
2.1

7.5
5.5
4.4

18.6
17.4
18.1

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

745,285
733,280
666,596
718,750
728,215

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

35.8
35.9
37.6
38.3
36.7

1.6
1.8
1.8
1.9
2.0

2.5
3.3
4.3
4.8
5.3

4.3
4.4
4.7
4.2
4.0

18.6
17.4
18.4
20.1
20.9

2000
2001
2002
2003

758,782
800,505
788,815
687,530

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

35.2
35.3
35.8
39.6

1.9
1.8
1.8
2.1

6.1
7.1
8.6
11.0

4.2
4.2
4.0
4.4

21.5
22.5
23.3
26.0

Under age 18
1992
1993
1994

211,793
241,085
202,357

100.0
100.0
100.0

48.3
44.9
45.6

6.9
5.9
6.5

5.9
6.4
8.6

...
...
...

...
...
...

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

170,881
152,166
128,259
144,990
150,615

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

44.8
52.7
55.8
55.6
53.2

7.0
8.7
9.2
9.6
9.8

11.0
16.0
22.1
23.6
25.8

...
...
...
...
...

...
...
...
...
...

2000
2001
2002
2003

159,803
174,133
184,999
184,342

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

50.2
48.5
45.9
45.2

9.2
8.3
7.8
7.7

29.0
32.5
36.6
41.1

...
...
...
...

...
...
...
...

Aged 18–64
1992
1993
1994

738,836
726,766
644,866

100.0
100.0
100.0

33.3
33.7
34.0

...
...
...

...
...
...

9.7
7.3
5.8

23.9
23.1
23.8

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

573,321
541,542
513,519
537,164
542,091

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

33.2
33.7
34.5
35.6
34.1

...
...
...
...
...

...
...
...
...
...

5.6
5.9
6.1
5.5
5.3

24.0
23.3
22.6
23.9
25.2

2000
2001
2002
2003

566,653
595,924
570,059
476,420

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

32.7
33.1
34.5
39.5

...
...
...
...

...
...
...
...

5.6
5.7
5.5
6.3

26.5
28.3
30.3
35.9

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through June 2003. Data for the hearing level or above are current through
September 2003.
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: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or ssi.asr@ssa.gov.

File available from:
Social Security Administration, Office of Policy
SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2004
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_asr/2004/

ns for Disability Benefits

Other a,b

34.4
37.6
37.1
37.2
37.2
33.3
30.8
31.2
31.0
29.0
26.5
17.0

38.9
42.7
39.3
37.2
22.6
12.9
11.1
11.2
11.6
10.7
9.7
6.0

33.2
35.9
36.4
37.2
37.1
36.8
35.0
35.5
35.2
32.9
29.8
18.3

above are current through

e over time.

edical reasons.

ocial Security–only

etermination is not available.
allowed because individual

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits
Table 58.
Percentage distribution of final medical denials, by age, year of application,
and reason for denial, 1992–2003

Total
Year

Number

Impairment did
not or is not
expected to last
Percent
12 months

Impairment
does not cause
severe
Able to do
Impairment is
functional usual past work
b
not severe
limitations a

Able to do
other type of
work b

All ages d
1992
1993
1994

743,395
939,357
1,043,113

100.0
100.0
100.0

7.3
6.6
6.2

22.1
21.2
20.7

...
...
...

17.5
15.4
13.6

26.3
24.8
23.3

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

996,592
940,463
739,007
702,854
689,651

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

6.2
6.4
6.9
6.9
6.7

19.7
20.6
16.7
15.0
14.0

...
5.8
16.2
18.3
19.1

12.4
12.1
13.0
14.6
15.5

22.4
22.9
25.1
25.3
24.5

2000
2001
2002
2003

687,482
713,305
766,151
798,854

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

6.5
6.1
5.8
5.3

13.4
13.2
13.0
12.0

18.8
18.4
18.4
18.5

15.7
16.4
16.4
16.6

24.1
25.7
25.6
26.2

Under age 18
1992
1993
1994

148,324
240,803
311,284

100.0
100.0
100.0

1.5
1.3
1.4

22.7
21.8
22.4

...
...
...

...
...
...

...
...
...

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

306,393
291,359
195,661
182,490
182,223

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

1.3
1.4
1.6
1.3
1.1

21.8
26.9
19.1
14.5
13.3

...
18.7
61.4
70.6
72.4

...
...
...
...
...

...
...
...
...
...

2000
2001
2002
2003

179,113
180,199
192,661
197,012

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

1.1
1.1
1.0
1.0

13.2
14.1
13.6
12.5

72.1
72.9
73.2
74.9

...
...
...
...

...
...
...
...

Aged 18–64
1992
1993
1994

594,906
698,397
731,456

100.0
100.0
100.0

8.8
8.4
8.3

21.9
21.0
20.0

...
...
...

21.8
20.7
19.4

32.8
33.4
33.2

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

689,743
648,193
541,713
516,409
503,705

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

8.4
8.6
8.8
8.9
8.7

18.8
17.8
15.8
14.9
14.1

...
...
...
...
...

17.9
17.5
17.7
19.7
21.0

32.4
33.3
34.2
34.4
33.5

2000
2001
2002
2003

505,003
530,131
570,656
599,765

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

8.4
7.9
7.4
6.8

13.2
12.8
12.8
11.7

...
...
...
...

21.2
22.0
21.9
22.0

32.8
34.6
34.3
34.9

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through June 2003. Data for the hearing level or above are current through
September 2003.
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: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or ssi.asr@ssa.gov.

File available from:
Social Security Administration, Office of Policy
SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2004
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_asr/2004/

ns for Disability Benefits

Other c

26.9
31.9
36.1
39.2
32.2
22.1
19.9
20.2
21.6
20.0
20.8
21.4

75.8
76.9
76.2
76.9
53.0
18.0
13.7
13.2
13.6
12.0
12.2
11.6

14.7
16.4
19.1
22.5
22.8
23.6
22.0
22.7
24.4
22.7
23.6
24.6

above are current through

e over time.

edical reasons.

ocial Security–only

to continue development of
August 1996 or before for
ment not of comparable