SSA Ends 2014 With Fewer SSDI Awards - Lowest Quarterly Total In Over 10 Years
New data from the Social Security Administration shows they granted SSDI benefits to 63,884 people with disabilities in December, continuing a downward trend and finishing 2014 with a 8.4 percent decline compared to 2013. The fourth quarter of 2014 saw the lowest number of SSDI awards, 189,078, since 2004.
In 2014, 810,973 people with disabilities received SSDI benefits, compared to 884,894 people with disabilities in 2013. Applications also declined by about 4.5 percent reaching 2,521,459 in 2014 compared to 2,640,100 in 2013. This was the lowest number of applications since 2008.
Several factors are at work in the declining number of awards, including SSA’s reduced staffing and lower award rates. The SSA has reported that hiring they began in 2014 and continuing this year should help with claims processing in fiscal year 2015.
The use of information technology tools including the Electronic Claims Analysis Tool (eCAT) and the Electronic Bench Book (eBB) also were cited last year by acting-SSA Commissioner Carolyn Colvin as another element that is affecting the disability decision-making process.
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