250 More ALJs?
From the Capitol Insider put out by the Disability Policy Collaboration:
The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on Tuesday on the conference report on the FY 2008 appropriations bill for the Departments of L-HHS-ED [Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Department, but also includes the Social Security Administration]. Should the conference report on the Labor-HHS-Ed appropriations bill be passed in the House, the Senate is expected to vote on the bill this week. House and Senate Democratic leadership have yet to announce a final strategy on which appropriations bills, singly or in combination, to send to the President for his signature or veto.
The Labor-HHS-Ed conference report is expected to include an appropriation of nearly $9.9 billion for the Social Security Administration’s funding to cover administration of its programs, known as its Limitation on Administrative Expenses (LAE). This amount is $576 million above the FY 2007 level and $275 million above the President’s request for FY 2008. Much of the increase will simply allow SSA to keep pace with inflation in office leases, security expenses, and employee salary and benefits costs. In addition, the National Council of Social Security Management Associations predicts that the Conference Report amount will allow SSA to hire about 250 more administrative law judges to help reduce the backlog in hearings for claimants with disabilities.