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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Why the Backlog?

On August, 29, 2015, I wrote about waiting times and approval rates for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at the hearing level. I try to blog on this subject every month or two because these statistics are so important to people waiting for their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or SSI to be heard at a local hearing office. Today, I will look at some information behind the statistics in an effort to figure out why the processing times continue to increase at the hearing office or better known as the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR).

  • Pending claims at the hearing level as of July 2015 were 1,056,071 nationwide;

  • The number of dispositions per Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is 3.03 per day as of July 2015;

  • As noted previously, the number of on-the-record (OTR) decisions has decreased in the past several years;

  • Flat funding from Congress over the last five years is reducing the Social Security Administration's (SSA) ability to reduce the backlog;

  • Congressional hearings focused on high disposition and high approval ALJs caused ODAR to put a cap of 720 dispositions per year on ALJs.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for constituents to contact their Congressperson about the need to properly fund the SSA and reduce the back log of claims.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website

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Tony Farmer & John Dreiser

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