About 40 percent of the state examiners had quit since January. 75,000 new claims suddenly were routed to an electronic queue already buckling under 2½ years of strain. The same system has collapsed in many of the other state offices where Social Security has outsourced reviews. The number of claims awaiting an initial ruling jumped almost 60 percent from before the pandemic. Data obtained by The Washington Post paints a grim picture of holdups claimants are confronting. In Texas, it took 214 days on average in fiscal 2022 to process an initial application.
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