Backlog Improving

August 29, 2018

There were 947,377 claims pending in hearing offices the end of May 2018. This is a reduction of 108,576 claims since the start of Fiscal Year 2018 and 198,857 fewer claims than the peak backlog of over 1.14 million claims in December 2016.

One reason for the decrease in claims pending is a reduction in the number of hearing requests. There have been 381,047 requests so far this fiscal year, compared to 409,910 at the same time last year. This is more than a 7% reduction. In addition, there were approximately 40 more ALJs available in May 2018 than in May 2017, and ALJ productivity has increased as well, from 1.92to 2.03 claims per workday per available ALJ.

Processing time in May 2018 was 594 days. This is a significant reduction from the peak average processing time of 633 days in September 2017. However, it illustrates how far SSA has to go before reaching its goal of a 270-day average processing time.

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