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Nationwide SSDI Awards Continue Decline

2015 October 8
by Steve Perrigo

Nationwide SSDI awards in September 2015 continued their downward trend, producing the third-lowest number of monthly awards since December 2008.

September marks the end of Social Security’s fiscal year and historically ranks as one of the highest award months. However, last month was the lowest number of September awards in 10 years, and marked a 19.7 percent decline from last September’s total of 76,540.

The threat of a government shutdown in mid-September may have impacted productivity for the federal agency, since many departments were required to develop workforce and operational contingency plans in the days leading up to Sept. 30 deadline. However, Congress passed a last-minute continuing resolution (CR) that allowed Social Security operations to continue without interruption on Oct. 1.

The absence of a full budget deal for FY 2016 severely restricts agency funding at a critical time with a hearing backlog of over 1 million pending claims. As of August, 54 hearing offices across the U.S. now have wait times of 500 or more days, including three offices with over 600 days.

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