Elderly and disabled people who have been denied Social Security benefits would face tougher requirements for appealing the decisions under new rules proposed by the government.
The Social Security Administration calls the proposal preliminary and says final action is unlikely before next spring.The proposal by the agency's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not yet been reviewed by Social Security Commissioner Dorcas Hardy, said agency spokesman Phil Gambino.
Under the proposed rule change, people who are challenging the denial of benefits would be required to submit all of their evidence in advance of a hearing before an administrative law judge, he said Tuesday.
Currently, new evidence may be submitted during the hearing, but Gambino said the proposal would allow that only if new information had come to light too late to be produced ahead of time.
Also, Gambino said a pre-hearing meeting would be required in an effort to outline the areas of disagreement.
Gambino said the proposal was "just a brainstorming idea."