Each year, the Social Security Administration releases statistics about the disability and SSI programs in an easy-to-understand format, the “waterfall” chart. The chart shows the percentage of claims approved and denied at the various levels of review.
Here is the latest chart, for FY 2014:
The chart shows what claimants can expect, statistically, for their claim for Social Security disability benefits. I like this chart, and have posted the waterfall chart each year on this blog since 2010.
However, much has changed since then (see my post from 2010). Allowance rates are down at every level of review, with Reconsideration staying steady at 11% of claims. ALJ allowance rates have fallen significantly each year (62% in FY 2010, 58% in 2011, 53% in 2012, 48% in 2013, and now 45% for 2014).
Those of us practicing Social Security disability law are well aware of the changes in the past 5 years. But the chart shows the situation clearly, for all to see.