There have been some recent reports of a possible Office of Disability and Review (ODAR) policy regarding the non-disclosure of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) presiding over your pending hearing until the date of the hearing. Indianapolis disability attorney Scott D. Lewis believes that this type of “blindfolding” attorneys and their clients can only make the disability process even more frustrating and slow.
Why could this potentially be a problem? Experienced Social Security disability attorneys like Scott Lewis represent individuals numerous times in front of the same Administrative Law Judge and become accustomed to exactly what that particular Judge is looking for at the hearing. To help create and ensure judicial efficiency, Mr. Lewis attempts to prepare his cases in a manner for particular Judges that will cut right to the main issues that particular Judge may focus on. While most of Mr. Lewis’ case files are prepared in a similar fashion, there are times that when Mr. Lewis knows a certain Judge has been assigned to a claim, Mr. Lewis focuses on certain documents he knows a Judge will closely analyze.
Why is this happening? The only reason put forth thus far is that attorneys are “shopping” Judges. When a video hearing is scheduled, the representative or claimant has the ability to deny such a hearing and request to be in front of an Administrative Law Judge in person. Without pointing fingers, one could argue while certain attorneys are shopping Judges, we must also consider why there is a particular item no one wants to buy. It could be asserted that this is a two way street.
In the end who gets hurt? Mr. Lewis believes good prepared qualified attorneys and Judges and above all claimants will find this decision only muddies the waters on a long drawn out and sometimes confusing process. Indianapolis Social Security disability attorney Scott Lewis believes preparation is one of the keys to a successful Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim. If you have questions concerning your disability claim, contact Mr. Lewis and his staff today for your free case evaluation at (317) 423-8888.