Monday, August 27, 2007



Social Security Disability Buffalo - Statistics

According to an article by Erica Bryant, the average length of time time for filing a request for a social security disability hearing and the actual occurrence of the hearing is 22 months in the Buffalo, New York area. Nationally, this averages 17 months. Either way, the wait time is excruciatingly long for individuals who have probably already been in the social security disability claim system (and SSI system) for over a year (going through the disability application and reconsideration phases beforehand).

Here are some statistics for the Buffalo, New York hearing office:

1. As of July, there were 14,707 cases waiting to be scheduled at the Buffalo hearing office. That's not too surprising considering that Buffalo is a large metro area. However, more than eight thousand of these disability hearing requests had been sitting there for more than a year. The article did not disclose how many had been sitting for longer a year.

2. Here's a fact that will strike some people as ludicrous given the number of cases waiting to be scheduled. The Buffalo social security disability hearing office has only thirteen judges. Again, this fact alone is not unusual. But given the huge backlog and what surely must be a large number of incoming cases, does it seem feasible that this office, or any of the others like it, will ever be able to whittle down the backlog and reduce the horrendous wait time for a hearing?

Other notable stats from the article:

1. The number of cases backlogged at the hearing level is 745,000 nationwide. That's not new and I've mentioned it many times, but it is always worth repeating.

2. Since 2001, congress has annually provided the white house with 150 million less than what has been requested for the social security administration budget. Amazing. How can any politician in Washington even express surprise that the situation has come to what it has.

3. Two and a half million individuals file for disability each year and two thirds of them, nationally, are denied. This is an average, of course. In some states, an incredibly high percentage of claimants are denied for disability.






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Disability in the Various States:

Virginia Disability
Washington Disability
Massachusetts Disability
Indiana Disability