An Updated Position Description (PD) for Administrative Law Judges (ALJs)
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has approved and implemented an updated position description (PD) for various types of Administrative Law Judges (ALJs). The new PD is allows ALJs to maintain their full independence in the judgment and decision process, but is designed to foster greater overall compliance with the SSA’s protocols, policies, and rulings.
What’s ultimately changing is that ALJs are now less free to manage their own workloads, and instead, are now subject to Hearing Office oversight. Furthermore, ALJs are subordinate to the SSA Commissioner in all matters of institutional procedure, policy, ruling, and interpretation of law.
The new PD also stipulates that ALJs process their cases as quickly and efficiently as possible; it renders ALJs subordinate to the Hearing Office in matters of processing. The Hearing Office oversees ALJ conduct, as well as pending cases, and may assign and reassign cases to new and different ALJs if necessary.