When you file a Social Security disability claim, it goes to a state agency for a medical determination. The agency is called Disability Determination Services (DDS) in Maine, but some other states have slightly different names for their agencies. In Maine, the first appeal of a denied disability claim also goes to DDS for Reconsideration.
The backlogs at the Maine DDS have been growing, particularly for Reconsideration claims. Some claims that were appealed in September have not yet been assigned to a disability examiner.
The Maine DDS is now getting help with its backlog. Hundreds of disability claims have been transferred from the Augusta DDS to Social Security's Office of Medical and Vocational Expertise in Baltimore. That office, which has a substantial staff, will assign disability examiners and conduct medical-vocational reviews of the claims. This arrangement will continue until the Maine DDS gets caught up on its workload.
I have started getting mail from disability examiners at the Office of Medical and Vocational Expertise as they ramp up on the Maine claims.