The Social Security Administration has some good news for those with pending Social Security Disability claims – the SSA has offered jobs to 144 new Administrative Law Judges. According to a February 26, 2008 press release, the SSA will have the new judges report for duty in April to recieve training. Review of case files should follow shortly thereafter.
As we have previously reported, the SSA has some serious backlog issues, but the hiring of news judges is a good first step toward speeding up the claims process. Other steps include opening a National Hearing Center, completing a nationwide Quick Disability Determination program, implementing compassionate allowances, and eliminating aged cases.
The SSA anticipates hiring a total of 175 new Administrative Law Judges this year. Due to litigation and budget cuts, the agency currently has about 10% fewer ALJs than it did ten years ago. Unfortunately, the number of cases awaiting decision has more than doubled during that same ten years.