Congressional Response Report: The Social Security Administration’s Review of Administrative Law Judges’ Decisions

Date: 
Monday, March 19, 2012
Report Number: 
A-07-12-21234
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) holds hearings and issues decisions as part of SSA's process for determining whether a person may receive benefits. ODAR directs a nation-wide field organization staffed with ALJs who conduct impartial hearings and make decisions on appealed determinations.

In a June 16, 2011 letter, several members of the Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Social Security, requested that we review SSA’s ability to review ALJs for unusual allowance rates.

The objective of our audit was to evaluate (1) the constraints, including statutory limitations, the Social Security Administration (SSA) faces in reviewing administrative law judges’ (ALJ) decisions and (2) SSA’s quality review systems for ALJs’ decisions.