How Is The SSA Addressing The SSDI Backlog?

The Washington Post recently had a story about the rise in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims backlog and how the Social Security Administration (SSA) plans to address issues.

According to the Post, the number of people currently awaiting hearings for SSDI benefits has grown so large it exceeds the population of six different states. The average processing time for SSDI claims nationally sits at 450 days according to SSA reports. This is the largest backlog the agency has faced in its history.

“The backed-up part of the system handles appeals from applicants who’ve been turned down because they were not disabled enough. The appeals go through an administrative law judge [ALJ], who holds a hearing,” the Post noted.

The SSA, through audits, has indicated there are four main reasons for the backlog: requests for hearings have increased, there are fewer attorneys throughout the country handling cases, ALJ processing times have increased and there are fewer judges overall.

Because of this, the SSA has begun to overhaul its system. Over the summer, the SSA replaced two officials responsible for appeals, allowing new leadership to tackle backlog problems. Terrie Gruber, who has been placed in a leadership position with the agency, said her goal is to offer “compassionate and responsive” service.

The Post reported that the SSA has started using electronic data that allows it to determine which appeals could be “screened by attorneys and federal claims examiners, who can make decisions themselves, faster than judges.”

Additionally, Gruber noted that the SSA is attempting to increase the number of ALJs hired and that it will begin to use video technology to allow people in rural areas to having hearings done remotely. She said the agency’s goal is to reduce the backlog to a 270-day wait by 2020.

Our Tulsa Disability Attorneys May Be Able to Help Speed Up Your SSDI Claim

Last year, we wrote about the factors that slow down SSDI claims. It is unfortunate the backlog has reached such giant numbers. In some circumstances, backlogs are created when applicants are not well represented, resulting in errors on paperwork and the failure to disclose information to the SSA.

Our Tulsa disability attorneys can help you avoid issues that may slow down your SSDI claim. You can reach us directly by calling the number located on this page or by filling out the case review form.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys



    I didn't think there was a caring professional considerate attorney firm on the planet, but Troutman & Troutman proved me wrong. From the receptionist to the legal assistance to the attorney and more they were exceptional people.

    - Robert S.

    They did a fantastic job getting everything gathered up and getting the trial done as quickly as possible. Anytime I had a question they were patient and help me understand what was going on. Especially Christy and Charlie were great.

    - Michael M.

    Steve Troutman was able to get my short-term and long-term disability for me. Then Erin another lawyer for their firm got my Social security disability for me. Great people.

    - Billy S.

    Mr. Troutman walked me through the entire process. Heather was available each time I called, answered all my crazy questions, and helped me fill out forms along the way. I was never treated like I was wasting time.

    - Julia C.

    Erin and Keith were fabulous! They were compassionate, helpful, and very responsive! They made the process very smooth and painless every step of the way.

    - Valerie W.

We Are Here to Help 

Free & Confidential Consultations
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.