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As Congress Departs for the Year, Social Security Takes Aim at Eroding Due Process Protections for Disability Claimants

The Social Security Administration (SSA) took the brazen step this week of issuing a proposed rule to deny disability claimants the guarantee of having their cases decided by an independent Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) free of management and political interference.

The regulation, which is a recycled idea already shot down by Congress in 2016, would allow for disability determination cases to be shifted from independent ALJs protected by the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), to Attorney Examiners/Administrative Appeals Judges (AAJs).

IFPTE President Paul Shearon commented calling the SSA’s action,

"A transparent attempt to strip due process protections from disability claimants at a time when SSA believes nobody in Congress is watching, as lawmakers are heading home for the holiday. Along with Judicial Council 1, the Association of Administrative Law Judges, IFPTE will hit the ground running in the new year to attempt to block the SSA’s attempt to deny our most vulnerable citizens their right to their day in court.”

The proposed rule can be found here.