Snafu on Hiring New Judges Contributes to Backlogs

At a meeting in Columbus Monday, Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said that more than 160 new administrative judges are needed to ease the backlog of hundreds of thousands of disability cases and eliminate years-long waits.

“I want to fix this thing on my watch,” said Astrue.

From today’s Washington Post:

Despite the importance of administrative law judges, the hiring program has struggled in recent years. Eight years ago, litigation over how the agency had ranked applicants for ALJ positions shut down the program. The case was resolved in favor of the agency four years ago, but the rule establishing a new hiring program took effect only last month.

“I’m frankly concerned that the process has taken this long,” said Rep. Michael R. McNulty (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Social Security subcommittee. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Tex.), the ranking member, called it “criminal that you are waiting to the end of the year” to establish a new roster of qualified applicants.
Read full article here:

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