Reduce the Hearings Backlog and Prevent its Recurrence

The timeliness and accuracy of SSA's disability decisions at the hearing adjudicative level is at the forefront of congressional and Agency concerns.

Since Fiscal Year 2008, SSA has directed increased resources to improve hearing timeliness and process more hearings. Since FY 2008, average processing time dropped by about 31 percent, from an average of 514 days in FY 2008 to an average of 353 days at the end of FY 2012.  

However, an increased number of applicants has led to an increase in the hearings backlog. As of July 2013, SSA's hearings backlog was approximately 838,000 cases--about 22,000 cases higher than the backlog at the beginning of FY 2013.  

SSA continues to implement a plan to eliminate the backlog of disability hearing requests and prevent its occurrence. The following reports illustrate our efforts related to the issue.