The latest average processing time statistics for the Social Security hearing offices were distributed by NOSSCR in the March 2010 Social Security Forum, a newsletter for NOSSCR members. The average processing time for the Portland hearing office is now 357 days, just shy of one year.
Processing time runs from the date of your hearing request to the day a decision is issued. The 357 days is an average. Some claims are resolved more quickly, but a claim that requires a hearing and a written decision may take longer. The statistics for all the hearing offices can be found here.
The March NOSSCR newsletter also included statistics for the number of hearings held per hearing office in fiscal year 2010. Through January 2010, the Portland ODAR conducted 847 hearings, of which 264 were in person hearings, and 583 were video hearings.
I was surprised that more than 2 out of 3 hearings at the Portland office are video hearings. Video hearings are often held from Augusta, Bangor and Presque Isle. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of my hearings are in person before the judge.