The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued an announcement yesterday saying that it will soon open a new examination for Administrative Law Judges (ALJs). They did not say when this will happen or how long the examination will be open. OPM's use of the term "examination" is misleading since there is no examination in the sense that one might take a calculus exam in college. The ALJ examination is primarily a review of applications submitted by job candidates.
In the past, OPM has at times only accepted ALJ applications for ridiculously short periods of time -- like 24 hours. This has been a huge advantage for those who work at Social Security where word spreads quickly. There have been reports of attorneys at Social Security's Office of General Counsel flying out the doors after word spread that OPM was taking ALJ applications. Attorneys rushed home to file their applications before the register closed.
I'm not sure why OPM is doing this. I don't see how Social Security or any other agency is going to be hiring ALJs in the near future given Republican efforts to prevent adequate funding for government operations. Unless something changes soon, we're more likely to see partial furloughs of Social Security ALJs than new Social Security ALJs being hired.