The Social Security Administration (SSA) is finalizing two new rules that, in the words of Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), “would weaken the promise of Social Security for Americans struggling with a disability.” One rule would replace the administrative law judges (ALJs) who decide disability appeal cases with politically-motivated agency lawyers. ALJ’s are impartial; SSA attorneys may try to deny benefits based on ideology rather than the needs of disabled workers.
The second rule would add a new level of Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs), imposing an unnecessary burden on disabled beneficiaries to prove that they are still eligible — and may cause some to lose their benefits altogether.
These were first floated these rules in late 2019. Social Security advocates pushed back hard, pointing out that the rules represent an extra hurdle for Americans with disabilities. Wyden, the ranking member of the Senate Finance committee, labeled the administration’s actions as “harassment of people with disabilities.” Others have called the new rules just plain “mean.”