Hearing Office Average Processing Times

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Report Number: 
Report Type: 
Audit Report
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 We are issuing this report to convey information related to average processing time (APT) at the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) hearing offices.

Claimants who are denied disability benefits at a State disability determination services can appeal the decision to an administrative law judge (ALJ) in the Agency’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). SSA maintains 164 hearing and satellite offices as well as 5 National Hearing Centers in 47 of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

ODAR’s initial appeals process generally entails a hearing before an ALJ as well as the participation of expert witnesses, as appropriate. These hearings can be in-person or via a videoconference.

SSA has a long-term goal of completing the average initial appeals process, from the time it receives the hearing request to the final decision on the case, in an average of 270 days. The Agency calls this the APT.