September 2011 Sees SSA Disability Backlog Climb Ever Higher
(03 Nov 2011) Despite the Social Security Administration's longstanding goal of reducing the number of pending disability cases, very recent SSA data show that these matters continue to head in the opposite direction, reaching 771,318 by the end of September. The increase -- up 9.3% from what it was a year ago -- marked the fifth straight quarter that the number of these cases has increased. These disturbing trends regarding SSA's faltering efforts, noted by TRAC in two previous reports, thus appear to be continuing.

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 are only beginning to reach the decision stage, it is too early to determine their ultimate impact on decision times. But nationally, average processing times rose for the first time for cases disposed of during September. In addition, almost half (46 percent) of all hearing offices saw their average hearing times increase as compared with the previous month, and nearly one in four have had rising processing times for at least a year.

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:
To keep up with TRAC, follow us on Twitter @tracreports or like us on Facebook:
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:

Customized queries of TRAC's data TRAC FBI Web Site TRAC DEA Web Site TRAC Immigration Web Site TRAC IRS Web Site TRAC ATF Web Site TRAC Reports Web Site FOIA Project Web Site
Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2016
TRAC What's New TRAC