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SSA Gains 93 Administrative Law Judges In Q4 2017, Overall Staffing Flat

2018 May 4
by Steve Perrigo

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) today released updated SSA workforce numbers through December 31, 2017.

The number of administrative law judges (ALJs), who decide claims at the hearing level, rose 5.7% from 1,629 to 1,722 in the 4th quarter of 2017. This number has hovered around the 1,500 mark for the past several years, despite the dramatic growth in the pending hearing backlog.

The agency has focused on using its limited budget on the hiring of additional ALJs for the purpose of reducing the nearly 1 million hearing claims backlog, which also aligns with a September 2016 SSA Office of the Inspector General report on the agency’s objective of reaching up to 1,900 ALJs in fiscal year 2018.

Overall staffing rose slightly from 62,297 to 62,777 in the 4th quarter, but finished down from 63,364 at the end of 2016. The total number of employees is down nearly 7,500, or 10.7%, from its most recent peak of 70,270 in 2010.

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