Thursday, April 17, 2008

Social Security Administration Seeks to Hire New Administrative Law Judges to Meet Backlog

The Social Security Administration has made job offers to 144 new Administrative Law Judges in an effort to meet the severe backlog of Social security disability cases.

“The hiring of these new ALJs is a critical step in our plan to reduce the backlog of disability cases,” Commissioner of Social Security Michael J. Astrue said. “They represent one of the largest investments in ALJs this agency has ever made. When these ALJs are fully-trained, and combined with the other steps we are taking, we will be able for the first time in this decade to reduce the number of cases waiting for a disability hearing. I can hardly wait for them to start.”

A recent report by the Government Accountability Office found that the number of backlogged disability claims doubled to about 576,000 cases between the 1997 and 2006 fiscal years.

Tags: Social Security disability, backlog, Government Accountability Office, Michael Astrue

Indiana, Michigan Residents See Lengthy Backlogs in Collecting Disability Payments

Tens of thousands of residents in Indiana and Michigan are seeing delays of nearly two years in collecting their Social Security Disability payments.

In Indiana, the average processing time to collect Social Security Disability is 694 days. In Michigan it's 698 days.

Indiana resident John Treash was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. He’s in remission now and willing and able to work. But employers won’t give him a job because of his health history.

"You can't find work because of your sickness, or people don't hire you because they hear you've got cancer. They don't want all your medical bills," he said.

However, Treash also has waited four years and still hasn’t received his Social Security disability payments.

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