Social Security is facing a considerable increase in initial and reconsideration disability claims, resulting in a significant backlog at every level. The Agency received almost 2.8 million initial claims and more than 762,000 reconsideration claims in Fiscal Year 2014. In addition, in July 2015, they had over 668,000 initial disability claims pending.
Social Security has experienced a growing hearing backlog and increasing case processing times in recent years, causing the public to wait longer for decisions. The pending hearing backlog grew from about 694,000 cases at the end of June 2010 to approximately 1 million at the end of June 2015. Average processing time on hearings has also increased from 415 days in June 2010 to 498 days in June 2015. As of May 2015, ODAR’s national average processing time for hearing decisions was 463 days. Average Processing time has been increasing since Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, when it averaged 353 days. Their performance plan expects APT to be 470 days at the end of FY 2015 and 490 days at the end of FY 2016.
Additionally, even after a hearing, there can be more delays of months waiting for a written decision. The Grinch has nothing on Social Security.