While Social Security predicts a substantial reduction in waits for hearings by 2012, many claimants need a more immediate fix. This article discusses the reasons and some remedies for hearing delays:
“Many people are denied disability benefits at the first two levels (Application for benefits and Request for Reconsideration). The third step in the process is the Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. At this stage, most claims have the greatest chance of being approved. The problem is that the greatest delays occur at this level.
The Administration has been confronted by a significant backlog on
cases pending decision and dispositions.
In FY 2007, SSA’s National Hearings Average Processing Time was 512
days for all dispositions. (see
www.ssa.gov for a thorough
discussions of the “whys and wherefores”…)