Answer the Call to Public Service, Become an Administrative Law Judge

March 28, 2016 • By

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Last Updated: August 19, 2021

a picture of glasses on an administrative law legal bookBecoming an Administrative Law Judge gives you the opportunity to improve the lives of others by ensuring everyone is treated fairly, impartially, and compassionately.

An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) serves as an impartial judge at regulatory and benefits-granting agencies. There are approximately 1700 federal ALJs nationwide, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) employs about 1500 of them.

At SSA, we need dedicated individuals looking to make a difference in someone’s life by becoming Administrative Law Judges. It is a family friendly work environment with a flexible schedule.

Our ALJs work with a nationwide support team in over 162 Hearing Offices across the country. We need ALJs in many states, including rural locations. We also need ALJs, bilingual in Spanish, in New York and Puerto Rico.

To become an Administrative Law Judge:

  • You must be licensed and authorized to practice law;
  • You must have seven years of experience in litigation or administrative law as a licensed attorney; and
  • You must apply directly to a posting on the Office of Personnel Management’s USAJOBS website once available.

Sound interesting? If so, make sure you create your USAJOBS account and set notifications to alert you when OPM announces new Administrative Law Judge vacancies. You will also need to create a Federal Resume.

IMPORTANTthe announcement opened on March 29, 2016 and you must submit an application package by April 8, 2016. Apply directly to this posting on the Office of Personnel Management’s USAJOBS website.

Click here for ALJ Examination notification: ALJ Announcement on USA JOBS

By becoming an Administrative Law Judge, you serve the public by ruling on cases that have a profound impact on people’s lives. Join our group of dedicated and committed professionals. Visit OPM’s Qualification Standards for Administrative Law Judge Positions or our SSA ALJ Recruitment Site for more information today!

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About the Author

Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Joann M.

    Received a notice that I am eligible for a grant from SSA. Agent Alen Franken is the contact person from SSA. Please let me know if this is true information. Thanks

    • V.V.

      Thanks for letting us know, Joann. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  2. Terry M.

    I never received any increase in my Social Security?? my Social security has never changed from the time I started collecting it when I turned 62 years of age, I’m now 77 years of age & never received a increase???

    • V.V.

      Hi Terry, thanks for using our blog. The best way to check and maintain your benefits is in your personal my Social Security account. If you do not already have an account, you can create one. Once you are logged in to your account, select the “Benefit and Payment Details” tab. You can view your payment history. If you are unable to create a my Social Security account or do not want to request it online, you may call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

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  5. Melissa S.

    My name is Melissa Sturgis and I’m a disabled 49 year old who’ve been trying for the last five years to get SSI disability started for myself and each time I get the same old answer about going to the office or call to set up an appointment, bit, no one never answers the telephone to speak with. What can I do in order to get everything situated with my case and to get an appointment?

    • L.A.

      Hi. We are sorry to hear about your experience. You can apply online for disability benefits. You can started here. Also, you do not have to make an appointment to come in to our offices, but with an appointment, you will be helped before our walk-in customers. You can schedule an appointment with your local office by calling us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and a representative will assist you. In most cases, you can handle your business by phone. We hope this helps.

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