I periodically report on the increasing processing times for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimants waiting for hearings. One of the reasons for these increases is the dramatic decrease in on-the-record (OTR) decisions issued by Senior Attorney Adjudicators (SAAs). SAAs can issue fully favorable OTRs usually in cases where the claimant meets a grid rule or listing. In 2010, SAAs issued fully favorable decisions in 54,000 cases while in 2013 the number was down to 18,625. In 2014, SAAs issued only 1,872 fully favorable decisions.
The drastic reduction in SAA decisions stems from the Social Security Administration’s change in identifying proper claims for SSA decisions. Now, SAAs may only review and issue fully favorable decisions in cases selected by the “National Screening Unit” or other cases directed by hearing office management though cases directed by hearing office management are only to identify or assist in OTRs for ALJs to complete.
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, Greeneville, Harriman, Dayton, Spring City, and Deer Lodge.