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Disability Hearings Backlog and Wait Times Steadily Decline

2019 July 9
by Steve Perrigo

Month by month, the Social Security Administration continues to report improvements with its disability hearing backlog—already achieving one of its targets for the end of fiscal year (FY) on Sept. 30, 2019.

From October through May, the hearing backlog declined by 175,000 claims, or nearly 21%, from 840,784 claims to 665,744 claims, according to SSA data. Now just a few months from the end of FY 2019, the SSA is on pace to reach its goal of fewer than 591,000 hearings pending.

In addition, the national average wait time at the hearing level has dropped by 50 days—from 541 to 491 days, since Oct. 1, 2018. This is already below their Sept. 30, 2019 target of 515 days.

In its latest performance plan, SSA stated it would eliminate the hearing backlog in FY 2021.



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