|(20 Jun 2011)
Very recent government data show that a concerted effort by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to reduce a massive and growing backlog in individuals awaiting a hearing on their requests for disability payments is faltering.
In addition to documenting a recent overall surge in pending matters -- now numbering more than 728,000 applicants -- the analysis by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) also documented during the last 12 months sharp variations among the states and the SSA's 162 hearing offices in their backlog growth, as well as changes in wait times, depending on where the claimants live. To read the report, go to
The Social Security Administration has released a statement critical of the study, which does not change the basic fact documented by TRAC's analysis of the SSA's own data: cases awaiting decision before the SSA's disability courts are increasing, recently at an accelerating pace.
A special interactive "app" accompanying this report provides a quick way to determine these variations and view the latest trends. In the last 12 months, for example, while pending backlogs increased by 86 percent in Nevada they declined by 25 percent in Connecticut. During the same period, average processing times increased by 42 percent at the National Hearing Center in Baltimore while declining by 53 percent in Shreveport, Louisiana. To access the Social Security Backlog App, go to
TRAC is self-supporting and depends on foundation grants, individual contributions and subscription fees for the funding needed to obtain, analyze and publish the data we collect on the activities of the US Federal government. To help support TRAC's ongoing efforts, go to: