May 6, 2016

Two Congressional Hearings Scheduled

     The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing for May 11 on the renomination of Charles Blahous II and Robert Reischauer to be public trustees of the trust funds. Perhaps the annual report on the trust funds will be released in time for the hearing.
     The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has scheduled a hearing for May 12. Here's their blurb on the hearing:
This hearing will focus on the independence of federal agency judges and the due process afforded to individuals appearing before them.  Recently the Social Security Administration (SSA) has proposed removing two classes of adjudicatory hearings from the purview of Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) and transferring them to Administrative Appeals Judges and Attorney Examiners within SSA’s Appeals Council. This change would impact tens of thousands of cases and must be justified. In this hearing, we aim to examine the current ALJ issues at SSA and the broader issues of independence and agency control of officials who conduct administrative hearings throughout the federal government.
     My understanding is that this transfer would affect only non-disability cases. I'm not sure of the point other than, perhaps, a desire to make sure that few overpayments get waived. Some ALJs believe this is a first step towards doing away with independent ALJs. I don't think that's an achievable goal in any political environment I can imagine.


Anonymous said...

I thought I had read previously that this change would not only effect non-disability issues but remands as well. I could, however, be misremembering.

Anonymous said...

10:06am is correct, other cases would also go to AAJs. The AALJ union is concerned because AAJs at Appeals Council are not under the APA and, theoretically at least, could be told how to decide cases by SSA. It could an erosion of the APA and (slippery slope) doing away with ALJs as we know them.
Say what you will about ALJs, they are generally much more concerned with due process and other legal protections for the claimants. If SSA can chip away at their independence in this manner, it is the claimants who will suffer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 2:52PM. I just found the place where I read about the remands, it was a letter from Senator Lankford to the Acting COSS.

Eliezel Ilano said...

Thoughtful writing . I was enlightened by the points ! Does someone know where my assistant might be able to grab a template GMU GAA Letter of Intent copy to fill out ?

elli lou Ilano said...

Hi Eliezel, my friend edited a blank GMU GAA example at this place