USA Today: Backlog Grows For Social Security Appeals; North Carolina Social Security Disability

Earlier this month, we shared a post that shined a positive light on the decision times associated with Social Security disability claims. Now, according to the USA Today, a report shows that there is a 5% jump in pending cases during the last year. Simply, the backlog is growing.

The study was performed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which is an data organization under the Syracuse University umbrella. While the numbers are pretty much are what they are, Social Security Commissioner, Michael Astrue, questions the significance of the increase of pending appeals. Commissioner Astrue thinks the more meaningful measure is in the faster processing and decision times produced by the SSA.

Like stated in the Fayetteville Observer article from early June, Commissioner Astrue’s goal is to drop the waiting time to 270 days by 2013 from the 350+ day national average that we are currently seeing in 2011. With federal budget cuts and no new hearing offices opening up, this is an uphill battle, but one that Commissioner Astrue feels they will be close.

With all this said, where does North Carolina rank in the mix? From the information provided by the TRAC there are 722,786 cases pending in all states. North Carolina ranks in with the 13th most cases pending with 22,775.

Going into North Carolina, the Charlotte Hearing Office currently has the most pending cases in the state at 6,496 with Raleigh (6,253), Greensboro (5,542) and Fayetteville (4,502) following.

If you would like to look up more information, please check out this interactive data guide from TRAC.