The Average Salary of a Social Security Claims Processor

Social Security claims processors earn more as they advance in grade levels.
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The U.S. Social Security Administration employs claims processors in 1,300 field offices across the country. They review and process claims from seniors and the disabled who apply for benefits. If you can picture yourself answering phones, scheduling appointments with applicants, and hovering over a computer keyboard for hours each day, the job of Social Security claims processor may be the perfect career. You'll need at least a bachelor's degree to qualify for one of these jobs. In return, you can expect to earn a salary averaging nearly $40,000 annually.

Salary and Qualifications

    The average annual salary of a Social Security claims processor was $37,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Simply Hired. The U.S. Social Security Administration reported salary ranges from $31,315 to $64,729 for claims representatives and claims authorizers in 2013 -- careers which are synonymous with claims processors. To get a job as a claims processor, you need a bachelor's degree in any major. Depending on where you live, you'll train for 13 to 24 weeks to learn how to process claims. Other essential requirements are an attention to detail, and analytical and interpersonal skills.

Regional Salaries

    In 2013, average salaries for Social Security claims processors varied the most within the South, according to Simply Hired, where they earned the lowest salaries, $29,000, in Mississippi and highest, $59,000, in Washington, D.C. Those in the Northeast earned $33,000 to $45,000 per year in Maine and Massachusetts, respectively. If you worked as a Social Security claims processor in the Midwest, you'd earn the most in Minnesota and Illinois and least in South Dakota, at $39,000 and $29,000, respectively. In the West, you'd make $30,000 in Montana or $42,000 in Alaska or California, which represented the lowest and highest earnings in the West.

Contributing Factors

    Social Security claims processors earn more as they progress to different grade levels, according to the SSA. Those at the entry-level positions of GS-5 to GS-7 earned $31,315 to $43,738 in 2013. If you held a position at the GS-11 level, you'd earn $57,408 to $64,729. The SSA also indicates that their salaries vary by region -- mostly because of cost of living differences.

Job Outlook

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't forecast jobs for Social Security claims processors. Increases in population among seniors may increase jobs for claims processors, although the number of jobs are contingent on the federal budget. The number of disability claims increased 68 percent from 2002 to 2012 -- 1,682,254 to 2,820,812 -- according to the SSA. If these trends continue, you may find more job opportunities as a Social Security claims processor.

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