Deputy Commissioner of Disability Adjudication and Review Addresses Concerns About the Social Security Administration (SSA)
At a May disability law conference for the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR), Deputy Commissioner of Disability Adjudication and Review Glenn Sklar spoke to a number of concerns about the current state of the SSA.
In response to concerns about the length of hearing processing times and pending workloads, Deputy Commissioner Sklar indicated that a shortage of Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) is a contributing factor, but also noted that an improved budget will allow the SSA to hire some 500 new ALJs by the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. For context, the SSA’s annual ALJ attrition rate is between 100-125.
Deputy Commissioner Sklar also mentioned that the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) is hiring more hearing office support staff in order to accommodate the influx of new ALJs.
Additionally, Deputy Commissioner Sklar spoke about the SSA’s new National Adjudication Team, a group of full-time, senior attorneys who will be able to make favorable determinations in certain cases (namely those that are already likely to receive favorable decisions). The ODAR will select and assign cases to the National Adjudication Team, and the hope is that this combined effort will help the SSA reduce its backlog of disability cases.
Finally, the Deputy Commissioner addressed concerns about disability fraud, claiming that those who argue that it is widespread are mistaken, and that in fact, only a tiny sliver of claims involve fraudulent activity.