People applying for Social Security Disability or SSI are waiting longer to have their cases heard and fewer cases are being approved. The national average processing time for claims before the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review is up to 392, which is an increase of 10 from February of 2014, and up from 372 in December of 2013. Nationally, the average approval rate is 44% (down from 46% since December of 2013). In Tennessee, the average processing time is 419, which is up from the 407 days in February of 2014 and 388 days in December of 2013 with 49% of cases being approved. The approval rate has dropped from 50% in February of 2014 and 53% in December of 2013.
In terms of averages for local offices, Middlesboro is at 377 days (up from 366 days in February) with 43% of cases being approved (down from 45% approved). The Kingsport ODAR is still the fastest in terms of processing time (346 days, which is an increase from 326 days) with 58% of cases being approved. Unfortunately, Chattanooga is at 443 (up from 429 in February and 390 days in December) with 55% approved and Knoxville is at 474 (up from 457 days in February and 406 days in December) with 48% approved. The Knoxville approval rate has been rapidly and steadily dropping (53% approved in December). Unfortunately, these number confirm that on a whole the average processing times are going up everywhere while the percentage of case approved by Administrative Law Judges continues to decline.
The hearing office staff work hard and understand the frustrations of the claimants and representatives, but they are hamstrung by the workload and budgetary restraints.
For statistics regarding the Appeals Council, click here.
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. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.