Article Title

Adjudicasaurus Rex

First Page


Last Page



This article proposes a simple theme. While many issues plague the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs, only reform of the hearings and appeals process can solve the decades-long (and growing) hearings backlog. Only then, can the remaining questions regarding the solvency of the DI trust fund be meaningfully addressed. As it now stands, the ongoing backlog of pending hearings and appeals feeds the twin plagues of rising costs and increasing delay. These are the very issues that drove the federal courts in the passage of the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 (CJRA). This article provides an overview of the now-antiquated Social Security Disability hearings and appeals process – a process that has not substantively changed since the inception of the DI program; nor with the later adoption of the SSI program in 1972. As such, the system is a “dinosaur” – one that yet survives. In considering a nom de guerre for this system, only one is fitting: the “King of Administrative Adjudications,” or Adjudicasaurus Rex.