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 44 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 45–47 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 48 and 49). 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 44.
Outcomes at all adjudicative levels, by age and year of application, 1992–2004
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
0
2,198
2,976

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

995,185
938,464
738,969
699,409
686,485

1,344
1,886
2,074
3,830
4,003

683,850
671,843
606,062
656,289
664,525

61,498
61,550
60,720
62,822
64,409

37.1
37.6
40.3
43.2
43.6

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

1,612,826
1,749,572
1,959,039
2,113,075
2,220,308

5,241
11,864
43,587
160,188
270,992

156,525
203,387
278,291
343,619
432,600

686,473
721,093
789,981
809,717
821,370

3,823
3,499
3,527
2,998
2,298

691,858
733,743
760,967
715,701
625,809

68,906
75,986
82,686
80,852
67,239

43.0
42.2
39.7
36.6
32.1

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
0
169
243

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

306,298
291,268
195,733
182,437
182,211

92
86
69
74
68

163,896
144,667
121,436
137,643
142,835

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

33.3
31.7
36.3
40.7
41.4

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

355,477
375,975
412,972
438,632
446,841

420
907
4,033
15,274
26,790

15,775
18,710
22,678
25,929
31,688

179,324
181,599
197,871
205,119
202,042

64
61
77
59
71

151,932
166,177
179,228
183,085
177,313

7,962
8,521
9,085
9,166
8,937

42.8
44.3
43.8
43.2
42.2

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
0
2,026
2,727

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

688,438
646,551
542,146
514,914
502,944

1,245
1,534
1,456
1,859
1,542

519,041
488,161
460,847
483,632
487,344

54,340
53,489
52,850
53,875
55,432

38.4
38.2
40.6
42.8
43.1

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

1,208,866
1,323,142
1,483,791
1,616,207
1,712,073

4,817
10,942
39,510
144,790
243,992

127,968
167,675
230,118
288,775
366,883

506,117
538,552
591,037
603,859
618,788

1,423
1,396
1,544
1,482
1,003

508,564
538,009
548,951
506,359
423,736

59,977
66,568
72,631
70,942
57,671

42.2
41.0
38.0
34.4
28.9

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through June 2005. Data for the hearing level or above are current through
July 2005.
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:
U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Policy
SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2005
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_asr/2005/

s for Disability Benefits

Allowance
rate c
(percent)

56.1
50.8
44.8
42.8
43.8
47.4
50.6
51.4
52.4
52.8
51.5
49.5
45.7

58.8
50.0
39.4
35.8
34.3
39.6
44.3
45.2
47.1
49.0
48.8
48.4
48.0

55.4
51.0
46.9
45.4
45.5
48.6
51.0
51.8
52.8
52.8
51.2
48.8
43.7

above are current through

ge over time. Cases can be

cial Security–only

severity criteria for disability

riteria for disability benefits.

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits
Table 45.
Medical decisions at the initial adjudicative level, by age, year of application,
and program, 1992–2004
Decisions on applications
for SSI only

All decisions

Year

Total

Allowances

Allowance
rate a
(percent)

Total

Allowances

Decisions on applications
for both Social Security and SSI

Allowance
rate a
(percent)

Total

Allowances

All ages 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
2004

1,456,301
1,546,185
1,680,748
1,769,338
1,787,323

556,990
595,925
619,748
633,354
631,845

38.2
38.5
36.9
35.8
35.4

845,623
860,922
904,266
926,968
927,118

321,029
338,218
345,482
347,421
345,118

38.0
39.3
38.2
37.5
37.2

610,678
685,263
776,482
842,370
860,205

235,961
257,707
274,266
285,933
286,727

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
2004

339,702
357,265
390,294
412,690
415,111

143,267
157,730
170,542
178,249
178,662

42.2
44.1
43.7
43.2
43.0

316,328
332,724
363,020
385,946
390,274

133,426
146,688
158,263
166,958
168,586

42.2
44.1
43.6
43.3
43.2

23,374
24,541
27,274
26,744
24,837

9,841
11,042
12,279
11,291
10,076

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
2004

1,080,898
1,155,467
1,253,673
1,327,329
1,344,847

382,587
408,901
416,823
429,012
428,371

35.4
35.4
33.2
32.3
31.9

503,636
505,101
515,934
523,909
522,582

166,188
172,232
165,906
166,234
164,485

33.0
34.1
32.2
31.7
31.5

577,262
650,366
737,739
803,420
822,265

216,399
236,669
250,917
262,778
263,886

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through June 2005.
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:
U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Policy
SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2005
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_asr/2005/

s for Disability Benefits

isions on applications
h 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
35.3
33.9
33.3

57.0
48.6
34.4
30.0
28.3
32.6
38.8
39.6
42.1
45.0
45.0
42.2
40.6

e over time.

edical reasons.

37.6
34.1
30.6
30.8
30.8
33.2
36.1
36.6
37.5
36.4
34.0
32.7
32.1

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits
Table 46.
Medical decisions at the reconsideration level, by age, year of application,
and program, 1992–2004
Decisions on applications
for SSI only

All decisions

Year

Total

Allowances

Allowance
rate a
(percent)

Total

Allowances

Decisions on applications
for both Social Security and SSI

Allowance
rate a
(percent)

Total

Allowances

All ages 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
65,353
62,498
61,267
55,630

12.8
13.6
15.3
15.7
14.6

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

33,432
32,510
31,881
31,818
28,500

12.2
13.0
15.3
15.7
14.4

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

33,348
32,843
30,617
29,449
27,130

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

382,757
407,299
458,317
483,020
397,718

53,149
53,460
56,098
55,830
38,715

13.9
13.1
12.2
11.6
9.7

192,285
190,634
203,464
204,770
167,846

26,456
25,396
25,786
24,487
17,572

13.8
13.3
12.7
12.0
10.5

190,472
216,665
254,853
278,250
229,872

26,693
28,064
30,312
31,343
21,143

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
2004

48,361
49,495
56,273
59,279
49,018

7,514
7,649
8,312
8,337
6,293

15.5
15.5
14.8
14.1
12.8

44,462
45,567
51,775
54,842
45,751

6,951
7,069
7,620
7,734
5,946

15.6
15.5
14.7
14.1
13.0

3,899
3,928
4,498
4,437
3,267

563
580
692
603
347

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
54,195
52,590
51,760
47,249

12.9
13.4
14.8
15.3
14.3

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

23,695
22,457
22,951
23,051
20,863

12.1
12.6
14.4
14.9
13.9

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

32,510
31,738
29,639
28,709
26,386

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

332,767
356,236
400,138
422,369
347,794

44,874
45,065
46,856
46,848
31,973

13.5
12.7
11.7
11.1
9.2

146,383
143,740
150,064
148,810
121,433

18,874
17,762
17,455
16,296
11,363

12.9
12.4
11.6
11.0
9.4

186,384
212,496
250,074
273,559
226,361

26,000
27,303
29,401
30,552
20,610

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through June 2005.
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:
U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Policy
SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2005
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_asr/2005/

s for Disability Benefits

isions on applications
h 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
11.9
11.3
9.2

21.6
16.3
12.6
11.5
13.0
16.5
15.9
16.0
14.4
14.8
15.4
13.6
10.6

e over time.

edical reasons.

directly to the hearing level

14.6
13.2
13.1
13.5
14.1
15.1
15.7
14.6
13.9
12.8
11.8
11.2
9.1

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits
Table 47.
Medical decisions at the hearing level or above, by age, year of application,
and program, 1992–2004
Decisions on applications
for SSI only

All decisions

Year

Total

Allowances

Allowance
rate a
(percent)

Total

Allowances

Decisions on applications
for both Social Security and SSI

Allowance
rate a
(percent)

Total

Allowances

All ages 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
271,976
238,742
222,560
228,543

170,826
159,109
144,987
137,154
141,806

56.8
58.5
60.7
61.6
62.0

145,570
128,712
112,201
106,678
109,837

70,445
64,405
59,693
57,889
59,636

48.4
50.0
53.2
54.3
54.3

155,388
143,264
126,541
115,882
118,706

100,381
94,704
85,294
79,265
82,170

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

246,066
262,596
268,640
166,920
32,489

150,625
160,344
167,807
107,369
22,488

61.2
61.1
62.5
64.3
69.2

117,141
117,030
111,943
65,697
13,068

61,968
61,232
59,188
34,884
7,145

52.9
52.3
52.9
53.1
54.7

128,925
145,566
156,697
101,223
19,421

88,657
99,112
108,619
72,485
15,343

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
19,549
18,735
20,660

11,285
9,150
7,297
7,237
8,054

31.5
32.6
37.3
38.6
39.0

32,428
25,589
17,723
17,049
18,767

10,131
8,292
6,591
6,541
7,268

31.2
32.4
37.2
38.4
38.7

3,428
2,516
1,826
1,686
1,893

1,154
858
706
696
786

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

24,158
25,250
25,685
15,338
2,826

9,113
9,319
9,459
5,665
1,295

37.7
36.9
36.8
36.9
45.8

21,975
23,062
23,464
14,122
2,635

8,204
8,436
8,570
5,193
1,205

37.3
36.6
36.5
36.8
45.7

2,183
2,188
2,221
1,216
191

909
883
889
472
90

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
243,063
218,232
202,865
207,282

159,444
149,246
136,894
129,155
133,281

60.2
61.4
62.7
63.7
64.3

113,002
102,414
93,582
88,718
90,515

60,224
55,494
52,360
50,630
51,937

53.3
54.2
56.0
57.1
57.4

151,952
140,649
124,650
114,147
116,767

99,220
93,752
84,534
78,525
81,344

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

221,323
236,793
242,315
151,200
29,521

141,080
150,611
157,903
101,441
21,063

63.7
63.6
65.2
67.1
71.3

94,631
93,460
87,882
51,232
10,309

53,373
52,414
50,205
29,462
5,827

56.4
56.1
57.1
57.5
56.5

126,692
143,333
154,433
99,968
19,212

87,707
98,197
107,698
71,979
15,236

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data are current through July 2005.
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:
U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Policy
SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2005
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_asr/2005/

s for Disability Benefits

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

72.6
68.9
65.7
64.6
66.1
67.4
68.4
69.2
68.8
68.1
69.3
71.6
79.0

41.8
37.5
35.1
33.7
34.1
38.7
41.3
41.5
41.6
40.4
40.0
38.8
47.1

e over time.

edical reasons.

directly to the hearing level

73.0
69.5
66.4
65.3
66.7
67.8
68.8
69.7
69.2
68.5
69.7
72.0
79.3

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits
Table 48.
Percentage distribution of final medical allowances, by age, year of application,
and reason for allowance, 1992–2004
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

745,348
733,393
666,782
719,111
728,934

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

35.8
35.9
37.6
38.2
36.6

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
20.8

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

760,764
809,729
843,653
796,553
693,048

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

35.1
34.9
33.9
35.5
38.7

1.9
1.8
1.7
1.8
1.8

6.1
7.0
8.1
9.7
11.9

4.2
4.2
3.8
4.0
4.3

21.4
22.3
22.1
24.1
26.9

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

170,884
152,171
128,267
145,008
150,647

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
2004

159,894
174,698
188,313
192,251
186,250

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

50.2
48.3
45.5
44.4
43.3

9.2
8.2
7.7
7.6
6.8

28.9
32.4
36.1
40.3
44.1

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

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

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

573,381
541,650
513,697
537,507
542,776

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

33.2
33.7
34.5
35.6
34.0

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

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

5.6
5.9
6.1
5.5
5.3

24.0
23.3
22.6
23.9
25.1

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

568,541
604,577
621,582
577,301
481,407

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

32.6
32.6
32.0
34.1
38.8

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

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

5.6
5.6
5.1
5.5
6.2

26.4
27.9
28.1
31.9
37.6

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through June 2005. Data for the hearing level or above are current through
July 2005.
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:
U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Policy
SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2005
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_asr/2005/

ns for Disability Benefits

Other a,b

34.4
37.6
37.1
37.2
37.2
33.3
30.8
31.2
31.2
29.8
30.5
24.8
16.4

38.9
42.7
39.3
37.2
22.6
12.9
11.2
11.3
11.7
11.0
10.7
7.7
5.7

33.2
35.9
36.4
37.2
37.1
36.9
35.1
35.6
35.4
33.9
34.8
28.5
17.4

r above are current through

ge over time.

medical reasons.

ocial Security–only

determination is not available.
s allowed because individual

Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits
Table 49.
Percentage distribution of final medical denials, by age, year of application,
and reason for denial, 1992–2004

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

996,529
940,350
741,043
703,239
690,488

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

6.2
6.4
6.8
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
2004

690,296
724,592
793,508
812,715
823,668

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

6.4
6.1
5.7
5.2
5.0

13.3
13.2
13.0
12.2
11.2

18.7
18.3
18.4
19.0
18.5

15.8
16.6
16.8
16.5
16.2

24.2
26.0
26.2
26.1
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

306,390
291,354
195,802
182,511
182,279

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
2004

179,388
181,660
197,948
205,178
202,113

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

1.1
1.1
1.0
0.9
0.9

13.2
14.0
13.5
12.4
11.1

72.1
73.0
73.7
75.1
75.5

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

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

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

689,683
648,085
543,602
516,773
504,486

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
2004

507,540
539,948
592,581
605,341
619,791

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

8.4
7.8
7.3
6.6
6.3

13.2
12.8
12.8
12.0
11.1

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

21.2
22.1
22.3
22.0
21.5

32.8
34.9
35.0
35.1
34.9

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disability Research File, 100 percent data.
NOTES: Data for the initial and reconsideration levels are current through June 2005. Data for the hearing level or above are current through
July 2005.
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:
U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Policy
SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2005
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_asr/2005/

ns for Disability Benefits

Other c

26.9
31.9
36.1
39.2
32.2
22.1
19.9
20.2
21.5
19.9
19.9
21.1
22.9

75.8
76.9
76.2
76.9
53.0
18.0
13.7
13.2
13.6
11.9
11.8
11.5
12.6

r above are current through

ge over time.

medical reasons.

ocial Security–only

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

14.7
16.4
19.1
22.5
22.8
23.6
22.0
22.7
24.3
22.5
22.5
24.3
26.2