- DISABILITY CLAIM FAQ
An administrative law judge (“ALJ”) is required to adjudicate your Social Security Disability (“SSD”) claim in a neutral manner. That means an ALJ has a legal duty to treat your claim in a non-adversarial manner. If an ALJ acts in a way that reflects unfairness, bias, or discrimination, they should be held accountable for failing to fulfill their duties with fairness and impartiality.
If each time you submit evidence, the ALJ seeks to obtain contradictory medical and or vocational evidence, especially post hearing, to rebut your evidence, then the ALJ is probably acting in an adversarial manner. It is improper for the ALJ to assume that the medical and vocational evidence you submit is suspect because the ALJ is required to adjudicate claims neutrally. Therefore, when the ALJ seeks to rebut your evidence, especially if done more than once with, e.g., post hearing interrogatories or supplemental hearings with new experts, you should file a complaint against that ALJ, pursuant to Social Security Ruling 13-1p.
One way to hold the ALJ accountable is by filing a complaint with the Division of Quality Service (“DQS”), to determine if the ALJ should be disciplined. The DQS is responsible for receiving, tracking, and monitoring complaints that it receives. That tracking will also help support the complaints of other SSD applicants who were subjected to similar unfair treatment by the ALJ.
If you want the DQS to review or investigate the ALJ, you must file a written complaint, that must be received within 180 days of the wrongful action. The complaint should contain specific information about the ALJ’s conduct. Your attorney can file the complaint on your behalf.
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