Reduce Disability Backlogs and Improve Decisional Quality

SSA is facing a considerable increase in initial and reconsideration disability claims, resulting in a significant backlog. The Agency received more than 2.75 million initial claims and about 704,000 reconsideration claims in Fiscal Year 2015. In addition, in June 2016, SSA had over 597,000 initial disability claims pending.

Also, SSA has experienced a growing hearing backlog and increasing case processing times in recent years, causing the public to wait longer for decisions on appeals of earlier disability decisions. SSA’s pending hearings backlog grew from about 705,000 cases at the end of FY2010 to approximately 1.1 million at the end of June 2016. Average processing time on hearings has also increased from 426 days at the end of FY2010 to 530 days in June 2016.

The following reports illustrate our efforts related to disability backlogs and decisional quality.