For several years, the Social Security Administration has made significant improvement in reducing the average processing times at the hearings office. However, the new numbers, which show average processing times up until the end of September, are discouraging. Overall, the national average time to process a claim at the hearings office rose nearly a month, even though the number of requests for hearings received dropped by nearly 25,000. Some people think this may be due to social security receiving nearly 1,000,000,00000 (one billion) less than requested by the President.
In 2012, the average processing time for a hearing was 353 days. This year, it was 382 days. More than half of the 165 hearings offices are taking longer to process cases the hearing this year when compared to last.
The Portland, Oregon hearings office is currently taking an average of 432 days to process requests for hearing. This ranks Portland at 119 out of the 165 hearings offices. At the top of the list is the Honolulu office, which boasts an average processing time of 220 days.
Obviously, the recent federal shutdown did not help matters. However, we hope the trend improves and the next fiscal year.