Problems and Progress in Holding Timelier Hearings for Disability Claimants

HRD-76-173: Published: Oct 1, 1976. Publicly Released: Oct 1, 1976.

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An examination was made of delays of up to 17 months in hearings on appeals for social security disability benefits. Backlogs result from slow action in forwarding of claimants' files, delays in judicial assignments and transfers, slow response from medical facilities, and inefficient use of personnel. Greater loads result from failure of State agencies to explain denials to claimants and from inconsistencies in applying criteria.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is attempting to reduce the backlog by increasing law judge productivity, streamlining personnel procedures, and requesting State agencies to review cases and contact claimants. There is no simple solution to hearing delays. The 90-day goal on hearing requests depends on reducing backlogs and improved processing procedures.

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