As previously reported here back in February, the class action lawsuit brought against several named Administrative Law Judges in the Queens, NY ODAR alleging “general bias” against Social Security Disability applicants has reached a potential settlement, pending a fairness hearing which will be held in July.
While the settlement is not yet completely signed, sealed and delivered, this week we began receiving notices from the Social Security Administration indicating that our clients who received unfavorable hearing decisions from the named ALJs will soon have the opportunity for new hearings with different judges. This included any of our clients who received an unfavorable or partially favorable decision during the period from January 1, 2008 to the present and continuing for 30 months after the final settlement date.
According to the terms of the proposed settlement, class members who received an unfavorable or partially favorable decision after January 1, 2008 from one of the five named ALJs will receive a new hearing with a new ALJ. Additionally, as an added safeguard, class members who receive an unfavorable or partially favorable decision in the 30 months following finalization of the settlement will receive automatic review by a specialized group at the Appeals Council.
Whether or not you are a client of The Advocator Group, we can provide representation if you are a class member with an opportunity for a new hearing. If you think that you may have this opportunity and you are in need of an advocate, you can reach us toll-free at (877) 261-1947.