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SSA Statistics Show a Decline in Award Rates

The Social Security Disability Insurance program has come under fire in recent years. There's been prime-time news stories, articles, and blogs-each one criticizing the program in one way or another. The theories are often different, and often disjointed-and often, lacking in a factual backing.

A lot of attention has been paid to the increasing number in Social Security Disability applicants. The theories of fraud and misuse have run rampant, giving Social Security Disability, and those receiving benefits, a bad name. Little thought was given to the actual causes behind the rise in disability applicants, as we discussed HERE.

The result of this bad press has not gone unnoticed. Each time the program is scrutinized, a brighter spotlight is shown on those in charge. In other words, it would appear as if the Social Security Administration tightened their reins and started to pay closer attention to the goings-on of their decision makers-after all, the word on the street was that Administrative Law Judges were far too giving with the number of cases they granted. Seemingly, the scrutiny that followed the multiple alleged scandals didn't go unnoticed.

According to recent statistics released by the Social Security Administration, there was nearly a 10% decline in the number of Social Security Disability benefit claims that were awarded in 2013 as compared to 2012. The decline increased even more strikingly in fourth quarter of 2013, as claims were denied at nearly an 11% decline when compared to the year prior.

The Social Security Administration doesn't offer their own explanation for the decline in award rates. But, it would be safe to assume that recent changes within the Administration are result of the alleged scandals, poorly researched news stories, and growing pressure from Congress to fix a supposedly faulty system.

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