|(22 Aug 2011)
Despite the Social Security Administration's long standing goal of reducing the number of pending disability cases, very recent SSA data show that these matters continue to head in the opposite direction and climbed to 746,712 at the end of June.
The increase -- up 7.5% from what it was a year ago -- marked the fourth straight quarter that the number of these cases has climbed. These disturbing trends regarding SSA's faltering efforts noted by TRAC in its previous report, using data through March of this year, thus appear to be continuing unabated.
In testimony to Congress on July 11, Commissioner Michael J. Astrue reemphasized that "[e]liminating our hearings backlog and preventing its recurrence remains our number one priority."
Since these new cases will take a while to reach the decision stage, it is too early to determine their ultimate impact on decision times. In June, however, almost half (47 percent) of all hearing offices saw their average hearing times increase as compared with the previous month.
More details on pending SSA disability cases and processing times nationally and for each region and hearing office can be found in the TRAC report and accompanying free user "app" at:
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