SSDI Awards Fall to Lowest Quarterly Level in Seven Years
For the first time in seven years, the quarterly total of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits awarded dropped below 200,000. The Social Security Administration reports that 196,802 people with disabilities received benefits in the first quarter of 2014. The last time awards were this low was the first quarter of 2007—when 192,594 people with disabilities were approved for SSDI.
From February 2009 through October 2013, monthly SSDI awards had been under 70,000 only one time. November 2013, however, marked the first of four consecutive months under that mark, before returning to historically normal amounts in March (71,216) and April 2014 (77,145).
The recent decline in the volume of awards is likely attributable to significant reductions in SSA's workforce, last year’s partial government shutdown, and lower award rates at all levels of the SSDI application and appeals process.
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