Aug 29, 2013

Getting Harder, Not Easier

     From Disabled Worker Allowance Rates: Variation Under Changing Economic Conditions, Actuarial Note 153 issued by the Office of Chief Actuary, Social Security Administration.
     You can make of this what you will but anyone who says it's been getting easier to get Social Security disability benefits doesn't know what he or she is talking about. In truth, it's become significantly more difficult over the last decade.


Anonymous said...

54% of applicants getting paid is still an impressive number.

You pretend that most applicants are truly disabled when that is simply not reality.

Anonymous said...

I and every other SSD attorney I know have noticed a distinct drop in overall approvals in the last 5 yrs in particular. This fact, coupled with the decreased backlog, has hurt many practices.

Anonymous said...

As the unemployment rate goes up, more people apply that are NOT DISABLED - of course the rate of allowance goes down! It is obvious to us who hear these cases day in, and day out.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that this chart indicates the DDS approval rate. So 54% of cases are paid by DDS. Of the 46% that are denied by DDS, over half of those appealed will be paid by ALJs.

The only obstacle that the truly disabled face in getting approved for benefits is the skepticism that naturally arises when so many applicants who are not disabled apply and the adjudicators have to deal with their exaggerations or outright lies.

Anonymous said...

Attorney fees equaled $1.4 billion in 2011 (a 300% increase over ten years, as it was only $425 million in 2001).

If you are suffering as a practitioner, it probably has less to do with the pay rate, which is artificially high to begin with, and more likely the result of increased competition as more individuals realize how lucractive disability representation can be.

Anonymous said...

This chart appears to indicate the percentage of allowances by DDS out of total allowances. So, in 2001, 62% of all cases that were paid, in raw numbers, came from DDS. Now it is 54%. That does not necessarily mean that DDS is paying fewer cases, but rather could indicate that ODAR (along with the minimal contribution by the AC and Courts) is paying a higher percentage of cases in terms of sheer numbers.

For fiscal year 2011, DDS paid 1,120,574 cases at the initial level (34% of the 3,295,806 initial determinations by DDS that year). 819,710 reconsideration determinations were issued, with an allowance rate of 12%, which equates to an additional 98,365 allowances. For 2011, ALJs issued 662,765 decisions and paid 58%, which represents 384,403 additional allowances. The AC paid 2% of 103,681 or 2073 cases. The federal courts paid 3% of 13,271 or 398 cases.

The total number of allowances at all levels was 1,605,813. Of that total, 1,218,939 were paid by DDS.

Social Security News said...

There are some weird misinterpretations of this graph. I suggest that anyone wanting to comment on it read the underlying report.