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Recent announcements regarding the Social Security Administration (SSA) have indicated that an independent review of the system is set to take place soon. Without doubt, there has been a great deal of speculation in the past with regards to numerous presumed flaws in the federal disability program-and the proposed study will undertake a review of approximately 1,500 Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) with various award-rating backgrounds (or rather, ALJs with award rates ranging from extremely high to extremely low). Of the numerous presumed flaws in the SSA's disability program, the extreme inconsistency in benefit award rates that exist from one ALJ to the next has been a top headline for some time. Recommendations for improvement of the system are predicted to be available next year.

Additionally, the Social Security Administration has indicated that, beginning this week, they will no longer be notifying applicants and representatives which ALJ has been assigned to hear their case. Past speculation has indicated that some applicants and their representative have made attempts to change the ALJ assigned to their case in an effort to have their case wind up in the hands of the more compassionate and benefit-awarding judges.

The results of the study and the outcomes remain to be seen, but we plan to keep you up-to-date with any and all future developments.

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