Professor Jon C. Dubin of Rutgers School of Law -- Newark Center for Law and Justice has written an article for the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy on ending the reconsideration level of review for Social Security disability claims. That article itself isn't available online at this time but an earlier draft of the piece is available at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget website.
There are excellent reasons why "recon" should be eliminated. The problems with doing away with reconsideration, in the view of Social Security and Congress, are:
- If reconsideration is eliminated, more claimants will request hearings. At this time, both Social Security and Congress view hearings as inherently a bad thing.
- If more hearings are to be held, more Administrative Law Judges would have to be hired. At this time, both Social Security and Congress view Administrative Law Judges as sources of error.
- If more hearings are to be held, more claimants will be approved. The goal of both Social Security and Congress is to hold down the number of disability claims approved.
- More Administrative Law Judges would cost more money, far more than would be saved by doing away with reconsideration.
I first became involved with Social Security disability in 1978. Doing away with reconsideration wasn't a new idea at the time. It's never come close to happening since that time. I regard it as a nice idea that stands no chance of happening in the foreseeable future.