The “great recession” that began at the end of 2007 contributed to a rise in initial applications for Social Security disability benefits that peaked in 2010. This surge in initial applications led to a similar rise in appeals for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Because the surge in appeals for a hearing exceeded the capacity to complete hearings quickly, the number of cases that had appealed but were still pending an ALJ determination rose. In fact, the number of disability applicants with an ALJ hearing pending rose up to the end of 2016. However, with the improving economy, declining appeals, hiring more judges, additional funding provided by the Congress to address the hearings backlog in fiscal years 2017 and 2018, and implementation of the Compassionate and Responsive Service (CARES) plan, the number of cases pending an ALJ hearing declined in 2017, and is continuing to decline today. Continue reading
By now, you’ve probably heard that this year marks the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act. In case you didn’t know, this year is also the 75th anniversary of the payment of the first monthly benefits.
And, today, the Social Security Board of Trustees released the 75th annual report to Congress on the financial status of the Social Security trust funds.