Hundreds of thousands of people have lost or been denied Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income disability benefits (SSD) in the last few years, as the Reagan Administration has endeavored to clear the disability rolls of people who are not disabled. In response, tens of thousands of actions have been filed by individual SSD claimants, as well as hundreds of class actions, challenging the legality of the denial and termination procedures utilized by the Secretary of Health and Human Services These actions raise the crucial threshold question of whether federal courts have jurisdiction in the absence of timely exhaustion of administrative remedies. To resolve this issue, courts balance the claimant's need for judicial review against the Secretary's interest in completing administrative review. In balancing these interests, courts address the separation of powers between the judiciary and the Social Security Administration.

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