Information About Social Security's Hearings and Appeals Process

The Social Security Administration's (SSA) administrative appeals operation, under the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) is one of the largest administrative judicial systems in the world. SSA issues more than half a million hearing and appeal dispositions each year. Administrative law judges (ALJ) conduct hearings and issue decisions. The Appeals Council considers appeals from hearing decisions, and acts as the final level of administrative review for the agency.

Choose below to obtain detailed information about the:

Chart Our Progress

Please see below for the status of our major workloads over the past several years. Additional information about SSA’s hearings and appeals process is available on the Congressional Testimony page.

Plan for Compassionate And REsponsive Service

The CARES plan, released in January 2016, outlines our comprehensive and multi-layered approach to deal with the immediate crisis of the growing number of hearings pending and increasing wait times. We consider the CARES plan a living document, which will change as we gain more experience with each initiative, begin new initiatives, and adapt to the changes in our operational environment. We will post future updates of the CARES Plan when they become available.

View January 2016 CARES Plan in PDF