Social Security Administration December 20, 2019 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Hearings Held by Administrative Appeals Judges of the Appeals Council
Document Number: 2019-27019
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2019-12-20
Agency: Social Security Administration, Agencies and Commissions
We propose to revise our rules to clarify when and how administrative appeals judges (AAJ) on our Appeals Council may hold hearings and issue decisions. The Appeals Council already has the authority to hold hearings and issue decisions under our existing statute and regulations, but we have not exercised this authority or explained the circumstances under which it would be appropriate for the Appeals Council to assume responsibility for holding a hearing and issuing a decision. The proposed clarifications will ensure the Appeals Council is not limited in the type of claims for which it may hold hearings. We expect that these proposed rules will increase our adjudicative capacity when needed, allowing us to adjust more quickly to fluctuating short-term workloads, such as when an influx of cases reaches the hearings level. Our ability to utilize our limited resources more effectively will help us quickly optimize our hearings capacity, which in turn will allow us to continue to issue accurate, timely, high-quality decisions.
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