Proposed Rule-Changes on Hearings Opposed by Democrats

Social Security has proposed new regulatiosn which would drastically alter the way evidence is admitted in a Social Security claim. The proposal would maintain that all evidence must be submitted 5 days before the hearing, and that no further evidence would be allowed.

” Our program experience has convinced us that the late submission of evidence to the administrative law judge significantly impedes our ability to issue hearing decisions in a timely manner,” the agency said in its proposal.

But Democrats think the proposed rules are too strict.

“What if you’re having chemotherapy the day of the hearing, and you didn’t know that in advance?” a Ways and Means aide said. “It’s full of stuff like that. I just don’t see how beneficiaries could navigate this, and the actuary agrees — he says this is going to reduce benefits.”

Nancy Shor, Executive Director of a national group of lawyers representing claimants in these cases, says that it is “really designed to discourage a claimant — particularly an unrepresented claimant — from appealing a denial of benefits.” About a third of those who appeal do not hire lawyers, she said. See full story here:

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