Progress On Electronic Access
From Electronic Services for Claimant Representatives, a report by Social Security's Office of Inspector General (footnotes omitted):
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) processed approximately 738,000 hearings. About 78 percent of these claimants were represented by another party....
In the first 8 months of FY 2011, claimants filed approximately 52 percent of all requests for hearings using iAppeals. Claimant use of iAppeals has increased over the years, thereby removing workloads from SSA’s FOs [Social Security's Field Offices].
As of the end of June 2011, SSA enrolled approximately 6,400 claimant representatives in ARS [Appointed Representative Services, that is electronic access to claimant files], corresponding to approximately 71 percent of the represented claimants who filed appeals. ...
SSA plans to add a number of features. For instance, ODAR is considering providing claimant representatives ARS access to the digital recording of the hearing. Additionally, SSA plans to create a hearing office status report in ARS that will provide claimant representatives information on all their pending cases. This status report should be available in January 2012.