Federal Court and the Social Security Administration (SSA)
At the SSA’s request, the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) is in the process of conducting a study of how select Social Security programs are received and reviewed in federal court.
Here are a few things the study aims to do:
-Examine the Social Security Act and the SSA’s protocols and practices for deciding disability claims, including the appeals process.
-Assess how federal court interprets and applies SSA regulations to deciding disability cases with an eye toward any patterns suggesting consistencies or inconsistencies at the appeals and district court levels.
-Assess federal court protocols and practices for processing Social Security cases, with a focus on rules and policies specific to individual courts in order to analyze differing approaches and their corresponding impacts.
-Explore the SSA’s practices for enforcing and applying federal and appeals court decisions when those decisions are at odds with SSA policy.
-Interview relevant personnel, including judges, attorneys, and federal officials tasked with upholding and applying SSA litigation.
One of the motivations behind this study is the procedural inconsistency among judicial districts, due to local rules and policies unique to each, and sometimes specifically targeting disability appeals. The study seeks to determine if, and to what extent, such variation is problematic for the SSA.