Approval Rates for Social Security Disability has increased in 2020
In 2020, the backlog of initial applications rose by about 30%, from 593,944 to 763,747. Processing times for those applications also increased, requiring about 11 days longer than the prior year at 131 days on average for SSA to process. Wait times on first appeal aka reconsideration, rose by 13 days to 122 days, while claims pending at this stage increased from 133,503 to 143,781. At the hearing stage, the number of claims pending declined from 575,421 to 418,313, and processing times dropped from 506 days to 386 days in 2020.
In terms of approval rates, a big change occurred at the hearing level, where the nationwide approval rate increased from 45% to 49%. The initial application approval rate also increased from 37% to 39%, and the reconsideration approval rate increased from 13% to 14%.