A Grim Milestone: More Than One Million Pending Disability Cases

By Published On: April 1, 2022Last Updated: May 2, 20240.9 min read

NOSSCR’s Director of Policy and Administrative Advocacy Stacy Cloyd has just learned that as of the end of February there were 1,010,764 claims pending at Disability Determination Services (DDSs) across the country.

DDSs are the agencies in each state that determines the disability status of claimants for the Social Security Administration (SSA). The cases pending are both at the initial and reconsideration levels of the adjudication process.

From analyzing and consistently checking the latest data, NOSSCR has known that this grim milestone might be on the horizon for some time. At the end of December 2021, there were 971,426 pending cases, a 9.4% increase over December 2020 and 27.6% over December 2019.

More people waiting for disability decisions, and longer waits for the decisions, are taking a toll on individuals, families, and communities. In some situations, eligibility for SSI or SSDI allows an uninsured person to obtain Medicaid or Medicare, so delays in processing disability claims can cause people to delay medical treatment, or leave hospitals and clinics to provide more uncompensated care.

NOSSCR continues to monitor this growing crisis and advocate on behalf of the rights of claimants in the adjudication process.


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