January 13, 2022

2021 SSDI Award Volume Lowest in Two Decades

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) awarded claims for former workers dropped 11.75% from 648,121 in 2020 to 571,952 in 2021.

The data, released by the Social Security Administration (SSA), also indicated new initial applications filed declined again over the previous year, dropping to 1,820,282 from 1,838,893 in 2020. The last time the agency processed so few SSDI awards was 2001.

Pandemic-related factors, including the continued closure of all SSA field offices to the public since March 2020, are also growing backlogs at both initial application and reconsideration appeals levels.  The agency has not released a plan for its approximately 60,000 employees to return to offices in person, 98.9% of whom report they meet the federal government’s vaccination mandate. 

You can view the report in its entirety here.

Mary Dale Walters
Written by

Mary Dale Walters

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