The Social Security Administration (SSA) engaged the Office of the Chairman to conduct an independent study of federal court review in social security disability insurance and supplemental security income cases. The project consultants:
Reviewed and analyzed the Social Security Act, as well as SSA’s implementing regulations, policies, and practices for adjudicating claims under titles II and XVI.
Evaluated federal court interpretations and applications of SSA’s rules and regulations, noting patterns that show consistencies or inconsistencies among appellate and district courts.
Examined SSA’s acquiescence rulings and how the agency applied decisions of federal appellate courts that were at variance with SSA’s national policies.
Surveyed federal court practices and procedures for handling social security cases to identify varying approaches and differential impacts, if any.
The Office of the Chairman offered SSA recommendations for bringing consistency to the adjudication of disability cases in federal courts.