Improve Administration of the Disability Programs

SSA received over 2.4 million initial claims and about 583,000 reconsideration claims in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. As of May 2018, SSA had received over 1.5 million initial claims and almost 355,000 requests for reconsideration. Further, as of May 2018, there were over 555,000 initial claims pending.  

SSA has experienced increased case-processing times and a growing hearings backlog in recent years, causing the public to wait longer for decisions on appeals of earlier disability decisions. Average processing times on hearings has increased from 426 days at the end of FY2010 to 600 days at the end of April 2018. SSA’s pending hearings backlog grew from about 705,000 cases at the end of FY2010 to about 967,000 cases at the end of April 2018; however, pending hearing cases have decreased recently and are at their lowest levels in four years.