Hearings Backlog is Heading in the Wrong Direction
According to reporting from the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives (NOSSCR), the newly reported SSA numbers don’t look good. The SSA just released its numbers for Fiscal Year 2013. (The Federal Government works on a funding calendar that goes from October to September). Alarmingly, even though the hearings office had 25,000 fewer requests for hearing to process, the average time to get a decision went up by a month. It is also worth noting that the recent two week government shutdown occurred in the 2014 FY. This will mean that the SSA will start this year even further behind than last year.
NOSSCR attributes this in large measure to the fact that Congress has allocated nearly $1 billion less for administrative budget of the SSA than was requested by the President. It is also worth noting that the President has still not nominated a successor to former Commissioner Michael Astrue. The Administration is being run by temporary acting Commissioner Colvin. Given a lack of adequate resources for staff and lack of stable administrative guidance we are likely headed for worsening problems.