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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

ALJ's Lose Lawsuit Over Quotas

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Apr 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

The union representing the Administrative Law Judges (ALJ's) who hear Social Security disability cases sued the Social Security Administration. The ALJ's argued that SSA's requirement that the judges issue a set number of decisions per year violated the Administrative Procedures Act. Though their lawsuit was framed as a statutory violation, the ALJ's were after something bigger. Their real complaint was that being pressured to produce 500 to 700 decisions a year violated their judicial independence. That is an interesting idea to ponder. Is it proper for SSA to interfere at all with the manner in which ALJ's decide their cases? Here, after all, the pressure was only to produce decision, not to grant or deny claimants.  The District Court dismissed the case and it went up to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Posner, writing for the 7th Circuit, was not impressed with the ALJs's arguments.  His solution to SSA's increased demands: Work Harder.  Posner did suggest, however, that SSA could interfere with judicial independence. This could occur, for example, if SSA limited the time each hearing could last.  No word yet on if the ALJ's will press their case to the Supreme Court. One thing we know for sure: judges stick together. It's possible that the Supreme Court might see enough in the facts of this case to take it.

Read the decision here.

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


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John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 25+ years.

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