2013 SSA Disability Award Rates Released
Nationwide approval rates for initial disability applications remained at 33 percent in fiscal year 2013, however approval rates upon appeal continued their downward trend.
Reconsideration (level 2) appeals were awarded benefits just 11 percent of the time, down from 12 percent in fiscal years 2011 and 2012. The largest deterioration in award rates continues to occur with hearings before an administrative law judge (level 3) where award rates fell to 48 percent, down from 52 percent last year, and down from 62 percent in fiscal year 2010. Appeal council reversals (level 4) fell from 2 percent to 1 percent, and federal court (level 5) reversals fell from 3 percent to 2 percent.
The loss of staff continues to impact the total volume of decisions the agency is able to make, with levels 1, 2, and 3 all experiencing declines in fiscal year 2013. Most impacted were levels 1 and 3, where decision volumes fell 6.9 and 5.8 percent, respectively.
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