Social Security to Hire More Administrative Law Judges

Social Security Commissioner, Michael J. Astrue announced on February 26, 2008 that offers have been made to 144 additional Social Security Administrative Law Judges (ALJs). Social Security will be hiring a total of 175 new ALJs this year.

Although it is unknown if any of the new ALJs will be coming to Michigan, they will begin reporting for duty in April, 2008. The new ALJs should be handling a full case load by the end of 2008. According to Commissioner Astrue, “The hiring of these new ALJs is a critical step in our plan to reduce the backlog of disability cases… I can hardly wait for them to start.”

Commissioner Astrue also detailed his plans for increased efficiencies in his May 1, 2007 testimony before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee, and in a published report, dated September 13, 2007. Additional Congressional hearings were held on February 28, 2008, with Commissoner Astrue, Inspector General Patrick O’Connell, Marty Ford, and ALJ Ronald Bernoski testifying.

It is unclear how these new initiatives will impact the backlog, and the rights of claimants. McCroskey Law, and the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives are opposing some of Social Security’s proposed procedural changes. Some of their proposals appear to encourage efficiency over accuracy, and would make proving claimant’s cases increasingly difficult.

If you have concerns about the Social Security backlog, McCroskey Law encourages you to contact your members of Congress and Senators. If you have a question about Social Security benefits, contact McCroskey Law.

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