Controversy Over Accountability of Social Security Judges

The judges who decide Social Security disability cases are members of the Administrative Law Judge Corps, an independent body that helps assure that independence from the Social Security Administration in deciding cases. While that is a good thing, sometimes there seems no way to remove a really bad apple from the Corps.

“Two congressional committees took aim today at the Social Security Administration for how its administrative law judges decide disability claims, following reports that a handful of judges fall well outside the norm.

“During a hearing, lawmakers sparred over the scope of the problem and whether Social Security’s leadership has enough authority to discipline judges who apply disability standards incorrectly. Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) said many of the judges are conscientious and hard-working, but that they enjoy a “near-complete lack of accountability” because of the cumbersome process for removing them.

Coble is chairman of a House Judiciary subcommittee on the federal courts that held the joint hearing with a House Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security. He said Congress should consider several changes to the law governing the Social Security judges, including how they are selected and how they are reviewed.” Review the article here: