Initial Claims Backlog Remains High
An Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report issued this week reveals that the pending initial claim backlog fell slightly last fiscal year (FY), but remains historically high. A 5.4 percent (172,544) decline in application receipts helped drive pending initial claims down just 1.4 percent in FY 2013 to 698,127. However, continued losses in Disability Determination Services (DDS) staff (down an additional 4.9 percent) resulted in fewer initial claim decisions (down 6.8 percent). Since FY 2010, DDS staff is down 16.3 percent, keeping the backlog high despite significantly fewer initial application receipts.
The OIG report also predicts some reduction in future backlogs and stable average processing times through 2016, based on actual 2014 and anticipated 2015 funding, as well as continued declines in initial claim receipts.
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