The 2012 waterfall chart has been published by the Social Security Administration, and is available on its website: 2012 Disability Decisions (link opens a PDF).
The chart shows that the ALJ allowance rate for Social Security disability hearings is down to 52% nationally. This should not be surprising to anyone practicing in this area, but it neverthess reveals a remarkable adjustment to ALJ allowance rates, and continues the downward trend reflected in the 2011 waterfall chart. Overall, there has been a 10% reduction from the baseline year of 2010, when allowance rates nationally were at 62%.
Of course, the 52% is the national average. Regions of the country vary, and the allowance rates of individual judges vary even more.
The lesson for claimants from the waterfall chart is to appeal your denial. The statistics demonstrate that those who persevere with their claims have a better chance of receiving disability benefits. The hearing level remains your strongest opportunity to obtain a favorable determination.