Rise Seen in Social Security SSID Benefit Lawsuits
Table 1: SSID Title XVI Civil Filings
The latest available data from the federal courts show that during June 2012 there were 860 new Social Security SSID Title XVI lawsuits filed in district court; Title XVI of the Social Security Act provides for disability as well as other benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
According to court information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 3.9 percent over the previous month when the number of civil filings of this type totaled
The comparisons of the number of civil filings for SSID Title XVI related suits are based on case-by-case court records which were compiled and analyzed by TRAC (see Table 1).
When monthly 2012 civil filings of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, their number was up 19.4 percent.
SSID Title XVI civil filings for June 2012 are higher than they were for the same period five years ago; in fact, the number of filings for each of the last four months (March through June 2012) is higher than for any other month in the last five years.
Overall, the data show these filings are up 62.6 percent from levels reported in June 2007.
These 860 lawsuits were filed by individuals against the US Government; in most cases (639, or 74 percent), the cause of action listed was 42 USC 405 which allows for judicial review of a Social Security Administration decision denying supplemental security income benefits.
The district with the largest number of lawsuits during June was the Middle District of Florida (Tampa) where 64 suits were filed, followed by the Central District of California (Los Angeles) with 60.
Figure 1: SSID Title XVI Civil Filings over the last 5 years
The long term trend in SSID Title XVI civil filings going back five years
is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of civil filings of this type recorded each
month. The superimposed line on the bars plots the six-month moving average so that natural
fluctuations are smoothed out.
One-year and five-year change comparisons are based upon the moving averages.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts in Fiscal Year 2012
Table 2. Social Security SSID Benefit Lawsuits
Fiscal Year 2012 (through June)
*Lawsuits filed per million population
During the first nine months of fiscal year 2012 a total of 6,847 SSID Title XVI suits have been filed in federal district courts throughout the country. Relative to population, this total translates into an average of 22.3 suits per million individuals so far this year.
Understandably, there is great variation in the number of these lawsuits in each of the nation's ninety federal judicial districts within the country's fifty states. Table 2 shows the 10 districts with the most lawsuits and the 10 districts with the fewest lawsuits so far this fiscal year relative to each district's population size.
The count of 217 actual filings in the Western District of Arkansas (Fort Smith) means that in relation to population this district was the busiest in the nation, with over seven times the national average of such lawsuits per person. Second was the Eastern District of Arkansas (Little Rock) which recorded a total of 239 SSID Title XVI credit lawsuits during the same period, or over six times the national rate. The Eastern District of Washington (Spokane) came in third, also having over six times the national rate of SSID Title XVI suits filed relative to its population.
At the other extreme was Wyoming (Cheyenne), where no SSID Title XVI suits were filed, followed by North Dakota (Fargo), Maine (Portland) and Hawaii (Honolulu), which all had fewer than two SSID Title XVI suits per million in population so far in fiscal year 2012.
If the number of lawsuits filed is considered without adjusting for population size, the list is topped by the Central District of California (Los Angeles) with 457 suits, followed by the Middle District of Florida (Tampa) with 384 suits. The Western District of Washington (Seattle) is third with 293 SSID Title XVI lawsuits filed so far this year.
Each month, TRAC offers a free report focused on one area of civil litigation in the U.S. district courts. In addition, subscribers to the TRACFed data service can generate custom reports by district, office, nature of suit or federal jurisdiction via the TRAC Data Interpreter.
Report Date: July 27, 2012