Backlogs Up But Processing Times Down; Disability Claims Soar While Unemployment Goes Down
|Pending Hearing Cases At Social Security|
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University has posted its September report on Social Security's hearing backlogs. The number of pending cases is increasing significantly even though the average processing time is decreasing. TRAC's explanation of this is that the increase in pending cases is so recent that it has not yet significantly affected the average processing time. Above is one of TRAC's charts.
Interestingly, Social Security's receipts of new disability claims appears to be continuing to rise even though the unemployment rate has been going down slightly over the past two years. How do you square these facts with the theory that unemployment is what is causing the bulge in disability claims? Wouldn't the rate of new disability claims have leveled off or gone down if unemployment is what is causing all these disability claims?