600 Days to Get a Disability Hearing

In today's Washington Post, a familiar story to those of us who represent people with disabilities: the Social Security Administration is underfunded, understaffed, and overworked. Congress has not given it the money it needs to do its job. The result: 986,000 people waiting for hearings to be scheduled and an average of 600 days from the time they asked for a hearing until the time they get it. Staggering numbers.

Staffing and service issues have plagued Social Security for years, and President Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal 2019 would make things worse. The disability hearing process can be particularly vexing because there are too few administrative law judges, who hear appeals, and they have too few support staff members.