The Social Security Administration’s Efforts to Eliminate the Hearings Backlog

Date: 
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Report Number: 
A-12-15-15005
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

In May 2007, SSA announced a plan to eliminate the backlog of hearing requests and prevent its recurrence. The backlog reduction plan centered on (1) improving hearing office procedures, (2) increasing adjudicatory capacity, and (3) increasing efficiency through automation and improving business processes. The hearings backlog reduction plan included 38 initiatives.

When the Agency announced its plan in May 2007, SSA’s pending level was 743,800 cases. The average processing time (APT) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 was 512 days. SSA’s goal was to reduce the number of pending hearings to 466,000 and APT to 270 days by the end of FY 2013.

The objective of our report is to assess SSA's efforts to eliminate the pending hearings backlog and improve hearing timeliness.