Each year, the Social Security Administration releases statistics about the disability and SSI programs in an easy-to-understand format, called the “waterfall” chart. The waterfall chart shows the percentage of claims approved and denied at the various levels of review.
The chart shows what claimants can expect, statistically, for their claim for Social Security disability benefits. I like this chart, and have posted an annual waterfall chart dating back several years.
However, much has changed since the baseline years 2008 & 2009, when ALJ allowance rates at the hearing level were 63% of claims.
From the 2009 baseline, allowance rates are down at every level of review. In particular, ALJ allowance rates have declined significantly during the intervening years (62% in FY 2010, 58% in 2011, 53% in 2012, 48% in 2013, 45% for 2014). Hopefully this second year at 45% represents the end of the free fall in ALJ allowance rates.