Department of Health and Human Services

Disability Examiner

Administrative Law Judges (ALJ's) should be required to complete the same training to learn the rules of Social Security Disability & SSI as all the Social Security Disability Examiners. As an examiner who does Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR's) I continually see people receiving disability who do not meet the qualifications of the program. While judges should have more leeway than a regular examiner, they should not be allowed to grant disability to people who are very far from meeting the disability standards set forth by the government. They should complete the same training program that examiners are given upon hiring (approximately 4-5 months) so they can learn the program fully prior to making decisions. Although the cost of training the ALJ's would be high, it would save hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars over time by not granting disability to people who do not qualify for the program. Once these people are on disability, we cannot cease them because they have not had 'significant medical improvement'. This is a very hot topic of conversation in Disability Determination Services offices.

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Idea No. 10322