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Social Security Disability Hearings: Short Staffed, Long Waits

June 25th, 2018 Social Security Disability

If you have a medical or mental condition that affects your daily life, you’re not alone. Nearly 1 in 5 adults are classified as disabled. But while disabling conditions are relatively common among the adult population, the process of applying for federal disability benefits prevents many from getting the help they need.

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.

To read the full article, click here.

According to the Washington Post, 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 Caddell Reynolds for a free confidential consultation.

Caddell Reynolds can assist you with your social security disability claim in our Jonesboro, Fort Smith, Fayetteville and Rogers offices, providing you with convenient service no matter where in Arkansas you live. Give us a call today for more information.

Call Caddell Reynolds disability law firm for a Free Legal Consultation at 800-671-4100, or contact us by filling out the Free Consultation Form below.

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