The "new policy" is that attorneys will no longer be notified of the identity of the Administrative Law Judge who will hear their clients' cases prior to the hearing. The only way you will find out the name of the ALJ is when you get to the ODAR and find out the name of the Judge to whom the case has been assigned. There was a story in the Wall Street Journal where an unnamed source indicated this was coming. This will discourage attorneys from taking certain claimant's cases just before the hearing. There are ALJ's that certainly have their bias in favor or against certain claimants based on the nature of their disabilities or past history. We all wish all of our clients were Mother Theresa but there are lot of nonfunctional people out there that have been victims of abuse, had criminal, mental health problems or have had substance abuse problems in their past. These claims are not settled as you must convince the ALJ that your client is disabled. Does knowing who the ALJ is make a difference as to whether you will take a case just before the hearing --of course. What is going to be a tough case with a ALJ who has an allowance rate a little above average is going to be impossible with the toughest ALJ in the hearing office. Nobody wants to bang their head against the wall.
William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you! www..wombacherlaw.com
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and Knox Counties in Central Illinois.