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Inspector General Releases ALJs Report

February 24, 2012

Washington, DC – The Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a report that looks at Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) as outliers because of the number of cases they have or have not handled or the number of awards they have handed out.

Outlier judges are judges who deviate from legal norms.

The first of two reports was in response to a bipartisan request on June 16, 2011, from Members of the Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives.

It requested the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Inspector General to review the workloads of ALJs, as well as their adherence to Agency policies and procedures.

A Wall Street Journal article exposing the practices of an ALJ in a West Virginia hearing office, who granted awards in 1,280 of the 1,284 disability cases he decided, led to the Subcommittee’s request.

According to a finding in the report, ALJs who handled a high number of cases tend to have a high award rate. However, ALJs with low award rates generally handled fewer cases than their peers.

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