Below is the complete text of an e-mail I received today from a staff member in my office who had just talked with an employee at the Appeals Council of the Social Security Administration:
Told me w/ the backlog they are just finishing up 2005 and starting on 2006, but they are mixing in some 2007.Undoubtedly, the "mixing in some 2007" is an effort to artificially make their stats look better by "fast-tracking" a few easy cases. It makes the averages look a bit better, while making the wait times worse for the people waiting two years and more for review. What is the plan for working off the backlogs at the Appeals Council. The last I heard the Appeals Council was expected to lose a good deal of staff over the next year.