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Introducing Nonadversarial Government Representatives to Improve the record for Decision in Social Security Disability Adjudications

May 8, 2003

Summary: For this report, the SSAB asked Strategem to consider two issues that arise from the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) stage in the proceeding: (1) whether (and when) to close the upon which the decision concerning eligibility is based; and (2) whether (and how) the government should be represented in the SSA decision process—in particular, whether a government representative should appear before the ALJ. This report explains and answers those questions and provides extensive background explaining their significance.


About the Authors
Paul Verkuil and Jeff Lubbers are legal academics who have a long standing professional interest in the disability process: Verkuil is on the faculty of the Cardozo Law School, Yeshiva University, and Lubbers is at the Washington College of Law, American University. Both have participated in numerous studies of the disability process for organizations like the National Institute of Administrative Law and the Administrative Conference of the United States. For this project, the authors have been joined by Frank Bloch of the Vanderbilt University Law School, who has well-established expertise in the clinical practice of disability law as well as numerous scholarly publications in the field.

Strategem, Inc. is a Florida corporation formed in 2001 by Judith Rodin and Paul Verkuil, academics with training in psychology and law. Its purpose is to find solutions to public and private problems through the use of data-based solutions and insights.



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