Waiting times for a hearing in front of a Social Security Judge increase

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The disability backlog at hearing offices across the United States is getting worse.  According to a recent report released by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”), the number of pending cases reached a record high of 767,000 cases across the nation as of the end of August 2008.

The processing time for offices in the San Francisco Bay area was approximately in the middle when compared to processing times across the United States. The San Jose, California hearing office ranked number 66 out of 147 offices across the United States with an average case processing time of 477 days.  San Rafael, ranked in at number 71 with an average processing time of 488 days.  The San Francisco hearing office was listed as 91 with an average of 531 days.  Oakland came in last place with a ranking of 97 and an average processing time of 556 days.

The situation is unlikely to improve.  SSA’s funding has not been increased.  Wtih incrased fixed costs, a poor economy (and thus more applications being filed), and no significant increase in staffing, it is unlikely that we will see any progress being made on the backlog.

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