Social Security Disability Hearings: Short Staffed, Long Waits

judge reviewing papers at desk with a gavel

A recent article in the Washington Post attributes the long wait times required for Social Security Disability (SSD) hearing decisions to staffing problems within the Social Security Administration (SSA)—including a low number of judges. The full article is available here.

According to the article, the current number of pending hearings is about 986,000—with an average wait for a hearing decision of approximately 600 days. Social Security planned to hire 250 Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) each year from 2016 through 2018. While the SSA hired 264 in 2016, the number dropped to only 132 in 2017.

In 2016, the SSA received over 2.3 million disability claims—630,000 more than 2002. The increase has created a backlog of cases, resulting in additional wait times. Deciding a case involves reading a claimant’s record, holding a fair hearing, drafting instructions, and signing the decision. Given a mandated quota of 500 dispositions annually, the average amount of time a judge has in which they can adjudicate a case is only 2.6 hours.

We Can Help

If you are disabled and unable to work, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan for a free confidential consultation.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan works hard every day helping the disabled of Michigan seek the disability benefits they need. If you are unable to work due to a physical, mental or cognitive impairment call Disability Attorneys of Michigan now for a free consultation at 800-949- 2900.

Let Michigan’s leading social security disability law firm help you get the benefits you deserve.

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