The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) has established policies and procedures that govern the rotation of claims at its hearing locations. In general, a Hearing Office Chief ALJ ". . . assigns cases to ALJs from the master docket on a rotational basis, with the earliest (i.e., oldest) [requests for hearing] receiving priority, unless there is a special situation which requires a change in the order in which a case is assigned."
In June 2011, ODAR’s Chief Judge issued a memorandum that established additional controls over case assignment to further enhance hearing office management’s ability to ensure proper case rotation. In the memorandum, the Chief Judge noted, "Because cases are assigned on a rotational basis, one ALJ should not be assigned a disproportionate share of the cases from any specific representative."
Our objective of this audit was to determine whether hearing cases were properly rotated among administrative law judges (ALJ). More specifically, we focused on the frequency of a single claimant representative appearing before an ALJ.