The Social Security administrative appeals process represents one of the largest judicial systems in the world. Most of the millions of disability benefits claims filed annually are decided at the state level, but about three quarters of a million claims are heard by an administrative law judge. That process has dragged for Alaskans who had filed appeals, because cases had to wait until Seattle – based judges could travel to our state.
But on February 19, all that changed, when Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue (pictured right) visited Anchorage to open up Alaska’s first Disability Hearing office. Commissioner Astrue also visited our studios to talk about changes in the social security program aimed at keeping it in step with our country’s changing demographics.
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
Download Audio (MP3)