SSA Staff Shortages Create More Delays

From The Memphis Commercial Appeal

…approximately 70 percent of applicants are denied at their initial applications for disability. Those not lucky enough to win initially must appeal for reconsideration (where 93 percent of applicants lose) before eventually having to appeal for a hearing before an administrative law judge. In our experience, the initial application and reconsideration each takes about four to five months. Though these delays are annoying, they are nothing new. What is new, however, is the ever-lengthening delay for a hearing.
According to the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, the number of cases pending at the hearing level has risen considerably from 311,958 cases in 1999 to a staggering 711,284 cases in 2005. Concurrently, processing times for these cases have risen around the country. In the year 2000, average processing time was 274 days. Currently, the number hovers at 524 days. In Memphis, the average processing time stands at 450 days, while in Nashville it is 550 days. See full article here:

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