2017 Social Security Updates

January 17, 2018

2017 saw SSA make several changes to the regulations, Rulings and listings, as well as several organizational changes. Former Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin retired, and Nancy Berryhill became Acting Commissioner of SSA in January 2017. There has not been a confirmed Commissioner of Social Security since February 2013. President Trump has not nominated a Commissioner.

In August, SSA announced several changes that became effective October 1, 2017. ODAR was split into two different components: The Office of Hearing Operations (OHO) and the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO). OAO, which includes the Appeals Council was moved to a new Deputy Commissioner-level organization – the Of ce of Analytics, Review and Oversight (OARO). OARO includes ve other components. SSA has tried to implement backlog reductions plans by releasing an updated version of its CARES plan. SSA attributes its failure to meet its goals to a shortage of hearing-level support staff, especially decision writers. But facing an uncertain budget, many of the plans have not been implemented.

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