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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For Recommendation 2013-1,
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Administrative Conference Act, 5 U.S.C. 591-596, established the
At its Fifty-eighth Plenary Session, held
Recommendation 2013-2, "Benefit-Cost Analysis at Independent Regulatory Agencies," highlights a series of best practices directed at independent regulatory agencies in the preparation of benefit-cost analyses that accompany proposed and final rules.
Recommendation 2013-3, "Science in the Administrative Process," promotes transparency in agencies' scientific decision-making, including: articulation of questions to be informed by science information; attribution for agency personnel who contributed to scientific analyses; public access to underlying data and literature; and conflict of interest disclosures for privately funded research used by the agencies in licensing, rulemaking, or other administrative processes.
Recommendation 2013-4, "The Administrative Record in Informal Rulemaking," offers best practices for agencies in the compilation, preservation, and certification of records in informal rulemaking, and supports the judicial presumption of regularity for agency administrative records except in certain limited circumstances.
The Appendix (below) sets forth the full texts of these four recommendations. The Conference will transmit them to affected agencies and to appropriate committees of the
The Conference based these recommendations on research reports that it has posted at: http://www.acus.gov/meetings-and-events/plenary-meeting/58th-plenary-session/. A video of the Plenary Session is available at the same web address, and a transcript of the Plenary Session will be posted once it is available.
Appendix--RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE OF
Administrative Conference Recommendation 2013-1
Improving Consistency in Social Security Disability Adjudications
FOOTNOTE 1 The Social Security Act created two programs--
FOOTNOTE 2 These recommendations include: Recommendation 91-3, The Social Security Representative Payee Program, 56 FR 33847 (
FOOTNOTE 3 See, e.g., Recommendation 2011-4, Agency Use of Video Hearings: Best Practices and Possibilities for Expansion, 76 FR 48789 (
FOOTNOTE 4 Soc. Sec. Admin., Annual Performance Plan for FY 2013 and Revised Performance Plan for FY 2012, at 11 (2012). END FOOTNOTE
FOOTNOTE 5 Soc. Sec. Advisory Bd., Aspects of Disability Decision Making: Data and Materials 6 tbls. 1a & 1b (
Those cases flow through a nationwide, multi-step process, by which SSA determines whether a claimant is disabled and eligible for benefits. State agencies make initial disability determinations using federal guidelines. Claimants may file (and pursue) their own claims or they may choose to enlist the assistance of a representative, who may or may not be a lawyer. /6/ If benefits are denied, claimants may request reconsideration (in most states). If benefits are denied after reconsideration, claimants may request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). ALJs adjudicate nearly 800,000 cases a year. /7/ In FY 2011, about 56% of disability benefits claims were allowed at the ALJ hearing stage, /8/ though more recent figures show a decline in this rate. /9/ ALJ hearings, which may be in-person or by video teleconferencing, are conducted using a de novo standard of review, and generally follow the Administrative Procedure Act's adjudication procedures. Although ALJs preside at the hearings, decisionwriters typically write decisions for ALJs based on instructions from them. Usually, decisionwriters are not assigned to specific ALJs, but serve instead as part of a "pool" in each hearing office from which writing assignments for decisions are made.
FOOTNOTE 6 The administrative process for adjudication of
FOOTNOTE 8 Harold Krent &
FOOTNOTE 9 Harold Krent &
--This is a summary of a
Citation: "78 FR 41352"
Federal Register Page Number: "41352"
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