NOSSCR members are part of a community of advocates. Our members work to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Individual members advocate for their clients, while NOSSCR, as an organization, advocates on behalf of our members to protect the Social Security disability and SSI programs. As a NOSSCR member, your voice is represented by:

Congressional Hearings

NOSSCR leadership has been invited to testify at Congressional hearings, both as representatives of NOSSCR, and as representatives of CCD. When not invited to testify in-person, NOSSCR often provides written testimony. Learn more on our Congressional Updates page.

Legislative Advocacy

In addition, NOSSCR leadership and members meet with Congressional Representatives to provide information about pending or necessary legislation. Individually, NOSSCR members can receive training on meeting with their own Congressional Representatives to discuss issues of importance. This training is available at NOSSCR’s semi-annual conferences.

Social Security Administration Policy

NOSSCR leadership meets regularly with representatives from the Social Security Administration, including the Commissioner of Social Security, the Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO), and the head of the Appeals Council. These meetings have enabled us to create relationships that lead to problem solving.

    • NOSSCR submitted comments on SSA's proposed standardized fee agreement form and statement of interpreter.
    • NOSSCR has opposed Social Security Ruling (SSR) 17-4p regarding duties for developing pre-hearing written evidence.  
    • NOSSCR has joined with other organizations to request that Acting Commissioner Colvin adjust the fee cap under the fee agreement. 
    • NOSSCR has submitted comments on SSA’s proposal to exclude evidence furnished by certain individuals or entities. NOSSCR recognizes the importance of relying on credible medical evidence from trustworthy medical providers when determining whether an individual meets the definition of disability and our comments comments focused on the importance of maintaining good cause exceptions to this rule.
    • NOSSCR’s meetings with the Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) resulted in a reminder to all ALJs that prehearing orders may not include deadlines for submitting evidence. 
    • We were also instrumental in the rescission of the rule that the ALJ’s identity would be a secret. 
    • We provided examples about how closing of all temporary remote hearing locations would harm claimants and made it possible for some to remain open.
    • NOSSCR keeps members informed of proposed SSA revisions to Listings of Impairments – including neurological listings, HIV infection listings and the extension of expiration dates for several body listings.

Social Security Administration Regulations

NOSSCR’s comments on proposed Social Security regulations are highly regarded and persuasive. As a result of recent NOSSCR comments, for example, direct deposit of attorneys’ fees is not required, and ALJs are required to try to recontact treating sources before sending a claimant to a consultative examination. 

In April 2014 NOSSCR commented on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for Submission of Evidence in Disability Claims. 

NOSSCR members have written amicus briefs and argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court in such cases as:

      • Biestek v. Berryhill, which will answer the question of whether a vocational expert's (VE's) testimony can constitute substantial evidence of "other work" at step five of sequential evaluation process when the VE fails to provide the underlying data on which that testimony is premised upon the applicant's request.  
      • Culbertson v. Berryhill, which will be heard in the Supreme Court’s October 2018 term, will resolve discrepancies among the circuit courts on how attorney fees are calculated when lawyers successfully represent claimants seeking Social Security disability benefits at both the administrative and court levels.
      • Lucia v. SEC, holding that administrative law judges (ALJs) appointed within the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must be done in a way that aligns with the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
      • Astrue v. Capato, 132 S.Ct. 2021 (2012), holding that a posthumously conceived child who can inherit under the laws of intestacy of the relevant state can receive Social Security survivor’s benefits.
      • Astrue v. Ratliff, 560 U.S.___, 130 S.Ct. 2521 (2010), involving the issue of whether the EAJA fee belongs to the plaintiff or the attorney.
      • Richlin Security Service Co. v. Chertoff, 553 U.S. 571 (2008), holding that EAJA fees for paralegal services should be paid at “prevailing market rates” rather than considered an “other expense.”
      • Gisbrecht v. Barnhart, 535 US 789 (2002) involving the calculation of attorneys’ fees for representation in federal court.
      • Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S. 103 (2000) holding that an issue not raised at the Appeals Council level is not waived in federal court.


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