Social Security Disability by the Numbers

July 23, 2014


Social Security employs a little more than 1,400 administrative law judges.

In 2007, the average processing time for a hearing was 512 days. It was reduced to less than a year in 2012 but has since crept back up above 400 days.

There are 937,600 cases pending before administrative law judges, according agency statistics.

Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin said the agency has capped the number of cases a judge can hear in a year at 840. Previously, there was no cap, allowing some judges to decide more than 1,000 cases in a year.

Nationwide, approval rates among judges have declined in recent years. In 2013, judges approved 56 percent of the cases they decided, down from 72 percent in 2005.

Nearly 11 million disabled workers, spouses and children get Social Security disability benefits. That’s a 45 percent increase from a decade ago. The average monthly benefit for a disabled worker is $1,146.00.

An additional 8.4 million people get Supplemental Security Income, a separately funded disability program for low-income people.  In Florida, that amount is capped at about $730.00 per month.

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