The Social Security Commissioner instituted a policy in December 2011 withholding the name of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) that is hearing a particular Social Security case until the date of the hearing. The particular reason for this policy is unclear. Some individuals representing Claimants were canceling hearings if the assigned ALJ was known to be unsympathetic. This practice primarily occurred in New York State.
This practice creates a hardship for attorneys practicing before the Social Security Administration's Office Of Hearings and Appeals as attorneys may prepare cases somewhat differently depending upon the preferences of various judges.
The Social Security Administration has stood firm on this policy despite pressure from attorneys practicing before it's Office Of Hearings and Appeals. It is hoped that in the near future this policy will be changed so that attorneys will know in advance what judge is assigned to the case. Common sense and fairness would dictate this change.