Reports from the Social Security Administration (SSA) show the agency is off to a slow start this year when it comes to processing claims for Social Security Disability benefits. The SSA’s most recent report shows there has been not only a dramatic increase in the amount of time being taken to process a claim, but there has also been an increase in the number of claims that are initially declined.
The report shows there has been an increase in the amount of time a claim is in the hearing process from 353 days at the end of last year to the current wait-time of around 361 days. The longer wait for hearings to be processed is paralleled by a higher number of claims needing to be decided by hearings. Data shows there are 831,304 pending hearings currently, compared to the 823,191 that were queued to be heard at the end of last year.
The higher number of hearings and longer wait times are further complicated by an increase in the number of denied Social Security Disability Claims. Last year, only roughly one-third of applications were approved initially, as compared to the 37 percent that received initial approval in 2009.
The Social Security Disability Attorneys at the law firm of Newlin Disability explain these trends highlight how vital having quality legal representation throughout the process of filing a claim for Social Security Disability is becoming.