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SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY: SSA Launches New and Largest Hearing Center, 2 other Facilities

August 2, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland – The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced the opening of its fifth National Hearing Center (NHC), considered to be the largest in the nation, together with two other new facilities – the National Case Assistance Center (NCAC) and the Midwest training Center, said a statement released on its website on August 2.

The hearing center and the two facilities are all located in St. Louis, Missouri will be completed in ten months which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Commissioner Michael Astrue, who attended the opening, said the NHC will help the agency reduce the backlog of disability cases in areas where disabled persons are currently waiting too long for a hearing decision. The facilities are also expected to bring new permanent federal jobs to people in Missouri, the official added.

The agency said the St. Louis NHC will have at least 100 personnel comprised of 18 Administrative Law judges (ALJs) and 82 support staff. The hearing center will use state-of-the-art technology to hold disability hearing remotely throughout the country.

The agency added that the St. Louis hearing center will initially hear disability cases for Cleveland, Ohio, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, which have been identified as the cities with two of the most backlogged hearing offices in the country.

The other NHCs are located in in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Baltimore, Maryland, Falls Church, Virginia, and Chicago, Illinois.

On the other hand, the NCAC and the Midwest Training Center will employ at least 102 persons. The NCA will provide decision-writing assistance while the Midwest Training Center will train Midwest and western employees.

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