2020 was a difficult year for everyone and there is no doubt that as a Social Security Disability attorney you are facing the effects of the pandemic on your business. However, there is a glimmer of hope to come out of all of the chaos -- the average processing time for a Social Security disability claim decreased 25% (502 days to 390 days) from 2019 to 2020. While there were less dispositions overall, it seems that the switch from in-person to completely virtual hearings helped to speed up the process for many hearing offices across the country.*
In September of 2020, the SSA posted a press release addressing this switch and the resulting convenience to those seeking disability benefits. The press release states, "'The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of finding new ways to serve the public,' said Commissioner of Social Security Andrew Saul. 'For over a decade, the agency has used video hearings to get applicants their hearing decisions sooner. This advancement builds on that effort, making it easier and more convenient to attend a hearing remotely, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. To continue to ensure all participants' safety, we expect online video hearings and telephone hearings will be the only two hearing options for the foreseeable future.'"* Clearly the SSA has realized the increased efficiency that has resulted from a fully virtual hearing process and will likely continue offering this moving forward.
With that said, we have compiled a list of the top 20 Hearing Offices that had the quickest processing times in 2020:
|Rank||Hearing Office||2018 - 2019 Average Processing Time||2019-2020 Average Processing Time||% Change|
Given the speed of the average processing time and the dip in overall claims filed, there has never been a better time to increase your caseload. Give us a call at 617.800.0089 to learn more about our Social Security disability leads and set your firm up for success in 2021!