James EzzellThe Social Security Administration (SSA) has released its annual Agency Financial Report for the fiscal year 2018.  Among other items, its Management’s Discussion and Analysis section contained some interesting statistics I’d thought I share today in my blog entry.

What Did the Report Say About Disability Results?

In terms of disability numbers, the report notes that the SSA managed to produce some 766,000 hearing results, which sounds good, but the national wait time for these determinations was about 17.3 months, unfortunately.  The wait time for Alabama was about the same, while for Tennessee it was about 15.8 months.

Nationally the win percentage was about 43%, for Alabama it was about 46% and Tennessee was markedly better at 51%.  Traditionally I believe the South has been well below the national average on producing favorable decisions, so there’s that.

Appeals Council Results

For those not approved at the hearing level, nationally about 156,000 took their chances with the Appeals Council, the next level of the appeals process, and for those not successful there about 18,000 took their claim to the United States District Court. One of the questions I often get is, “Does the SSA review successful claims after the benefits have started flowing?”  The answer is yes and it appeared to have performed these reviews about 897,000 times in 2018.

What is the ‘my Social Security’ Program?

In broader terms, about 6.1 million people joined the my Social Security program, a new feature I touched on briefly in an earlier blog post that allows individuals to review their specific benefit numbers online.  For those that weren’t able to get their questions answered at the site, the national SSA hotline fielded about 31.9 million phone calls and hosted some 43 million visitors to the many home offices spread throughout the country.  There were about 10 million new claims for benefits in 2018.  All told, some $1 trillion in benefits were disbursed by the agency this fiscal year.

Let Us Help You With SSA Disability Benefits

If you or your child have been denied SSA disability benefits or suffer from a severe impairment that is expected to last for more than twelve months and that prevents you from doing any of your past or other work or is causing developmental delay in your child, please contact our office nearest to you to set up a free consultation appointment to discuss your situation.

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