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What is being done about the massive Social Security disability claim backlog?

You may know all too well about the massive backlog of Social Security disability claims at the SSA.  According to the SSA, there are over 1.3 million Americans waiting for a decision about their SSD claim.  In fact, in some areas of the country claimants have had to wait for over 2 years for a hearing!

What is being done to address this mess?  In December ’07, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report entitled, “Social Security Disability: Better Planning, Management, and Evaluation Could Help Address Backlogs”.  In their report, the GAO sought to examine the trends in the backlogs, look for key factors contributing to the backlog, and provide SSA with recommendations for improvement.  The SSA agreed with some recommendations, but 9 months later the problems persist.

Congress has also tried to help SSA by providing additional funds to address staff shortages and technical issues contributing to the backlog.  And this month, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security held hearings on the on the backlog of SSD cases.

The findings from the subcommittee hearing are not out yet, so it remains to be seen what steps our lawmakers will take next in an attempt to fix this serious issue.  You can read more about the SSA case backlog hearing and what is being done about it in our law library article, “Can Lawmakers Reduce the Social Security Case Backlog?