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
October is Disability Awareness Month. For Social Security, disability is always at the forefront of our conversations. We hear stories daily about Americans living with disabling conditions who need help from the system they contributed to during their working life. Their stories make us proud of the work we do.
If you received a denial on your application for Social Security benefits, and appealed to an administrative law judge, you may consider conducting your hearing through our remote video service delivery (VSD). VSD allows judges to hear cases from applicants in any geographic area using video and sound equipment. Although similar to Skype, our state-of-the-art technology produces a much higher quality video experience. The video hearing process is convenient, significantly reduces the government’s cost over traditional hearings, and could result in a quicker decision on your appeal. Continue reading