Each Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) has multiple Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) who work at each location. These ALJs are employed by the Social Security Administration and their job is to hear Social Security Disability cases that have been denied and filed for appeal. Each office also has a Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge (HOCALJ). The Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge works under the Social Security Departments Chief Administrative Law Judge who has the power to make decisions regarding new policies for the ODAR offices across the country. The HOCALJ is also responsible for helping to establish any new policies into his/her ODAR office location that have been designated by the CALJ. This insures that all offices are run with the same procedures. The local HOCALJ has the same responsibilities as an ALJ but in addition he/she assigns cases to the Administrative Law Judges in the office, oversees their cases, and helps them to interpret the law as it relates to current cases; in short, the Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge acts as an adviser to the other Administrative Law Judges in the office.
If you have a complicated case that is going to be heard by an Administrative Law Judge it is possible that the Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge in your ODAR office has been consulted on your case.