Is There Hope for Long Delays for Social Security Hearings?

As of July 2015, the average national waiting time to obtain a hearing before a Social Security Judge (a/k/a Administrative Law Judge) had increased to 511 days.  Unfortunately, the Ft. Lauderdale District, which includes Broward and Palm Beach Counties, has a current waiting time of 19 months, (or 589 days), almost the worst waiting time in the U.S..

The number of pending claims waiting for hearing before a Social Security Judge has also skyrocketed.  As of July 2015, there were 1,056,071 pending cases and the number continues to increase.  Social Security Judges have also disposed of fewer claims per day, now less than two (2).

There is no single reason for the long delays and many factors have contributed to this problem.  These are the major reasons that need to be addressed:

  1.  The Social Security Administration has no received adequate funding to provide mandated services.  Between the years 2000-2007, the shortfall in funding was more than $4 billion.   Although there was a temporary increase in funding between 2008-2010, the U.S. Congress has not followed through since that time.
  2. Since 2009, the denial of Social Security applications by Judges has increased by almost 30%.  Denied claims take more time to write and publish, because of the need to document the factual and legal basis.
  3. Social Security Judges have been under pressure to improve the documentation of their decisions and in conjunction, are now limited to 720 case dispositions per year, in an attempt to obtain higher quality work product.

Social Security Disability Attorney and Lawyer, Randy Zeldin, Esq., represent Social Security Disability claimants in Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach and West Palm Beach, Florida.  All in-office consultations are free of charge.