The Portland, Maine hearing office is still #1 in the country, according to the latest statistics released by the SSA and republished in Social Security News. The Portland hearing office has an average processing time of 270 days. Processing time runs from the day the hearing office receives your hearing request to the day a decision is issued.
Since the Portland hearing office gives 75 days notice prior to a hearing, that means that a hearing is scheduled within 6 months of the claim arriving at the Portland, Maine ODAR. That's the good news.
The bad news is that the Reconsideration level in Maine is turning into a black hole. Claims at Reconsideration are going months without even being assigned to a disability examiner.
By comparison, in New Hampshire (which is a prototype state that skips the Reconsideration step), the Manchester hearing office has an average processing time of 379 days, which is 109 days longer than in Maine. But since months are not being lost in New Hampshire waiting for Reconsideration, claims are moving through the system much quicker.