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service. “Many people have expressed the opinion to me,” the Commisisbner
A. “By abolishing the Commission, the plan eliminates a small agency and lightens the burden on the President.”
A. This reason bears no relation to the purposes stated in the Reorganization Act. In the past 30 years not more than five matters have arisen which have required the personal attention of a President. The “burden” is nonexistent.
B. “The Federal Security Adminis- B. The Commission has no insurance
trator as the head of the Federal agency with the greatest experience in insurance is in the best position to guide and further the program of the Commission.”
C. “* * * it is essentially the plan employed by many States in their workmen's compensation programs.”
D. The functions of the Commission are to be carried out by “a single official in charge of operations” under rules and regulations of the Federal Security Agency.
The CHAIRMAN. You have touc
program which necessitates guidance or
hed upon the legality of section
5 of the Reorganization Act of 1945, paragraph 6.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. How long have you been a member of the Commission? Mr. LADNER. I succeeded former Congressman Morin 4% years 8.00. - #. WHITTINGTON. Prior to that time what work were you engaged IIl Mr. LADNER. A practicing attorney, in the city of Philadelphia. Mr. WHITTINGTON. You were not connected with the Commission prior to that time? Mr. LADNER. No, I was not. I handled a considerable number of i. compensation cases before my appointment to this Federal OarCI. Mr. WHITTINGTON. How many States have a commissioner form instead of the board form for the adjudication of compensation cases? Mr. LADNER. To my knowledge, 34 out of 44. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Thirty-four have the commissioner form? Mr. LADNER. The commissioner form. Mr. WHITTINGTON. When I say “commissioner,” I mean a single commissioner rather than a board, so that there may be no misunderstanding. Mr. LADNER. I do not want to be misunderstood, nor do I want to make a definite statement, but I think there are only 10 of the 44 States that have commissioners. Mr. WHITTINGTON. How many members of the board are there? Mr. LADNER. Some States have three; some five and some seven. Thirty-four of the States have the commission form similar to the Federal form. Mr. WHITTINGTON. With either three to seven on them? Mr. LADNER. Three, five, or seven. Mr. WHITTINGTON. With respect to the adjudication by the commission, how many applications were handled by your commission during the last fiscal year? Mr. LADNER. Well, I have not figured out the past year. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Take the year before that. Mr. LADNER. May I cover it in this way: In the 4% years that I have been on the commission we have handled more than 2,000,000 CaSeS. Mr. WHITTINGTON. You have been there 4% years. That would make an average of around 500,000 cases a year. Mr. LADNER. At least. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Now, is each of those cases handled by the board and adjudicated by the board? Mr. LADNER. Not all of them. Many cases are handled by our deputy commissioners in the field. There are 18 of those and they handle the longshoremen litigation and claims. We handle all the Federal employees’ claims and nearly every one of them comes to our personal attention. Mr. WHITTINGTON. If I understand you now, all of the Federal employees’ cases are handled by the members of the board? Mr. LADNER. Yes. Mr. WHITTINGTON. You do not have any investigations made by examiners? Mr. LADNER. Oh, yes.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Then before any adjudication is made, each of those cases is handled by the members of your board? Mr. LADNER. Finally reviewed by our board. They are investiated in the field and then examined and then a report is made. inally it comes to our desk for consideration, and the board adjudicates those cases. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Why do you not handle those of the longshoremen and other cases under your jurisdiction? Mr. LADNER. The law provides otherwise. Regarding the longshoremen, the original claim is presented to the deputy commissioner and the Commission of which I am a member does not have any right to review those cases. All we pass on is the administration of the act. That is properly taken care of. Mr. WHHITTINGTON. So there are some matters not reviewed by your Commission? Mr. LADNER. That is correct, except that we finally pass on settlements, such as lump-sum settlements where it is required that we review the work of the deputy commissioner. Mr. WHITTINGTON. About how many of the 500,000 average for the }. by way of an estimate, would be cases that are handled by your ard and reviewed by the members of your board? Mr. LADNER. I would say 75 to 80 percent of them. Mr. WHITTINGTON, What percentage of the cases under the acts of 1941 and 1942, growing out of the war, are handled in the same way by your board? Mr. LADNER. We handled all those cases. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Those war cases? Mr. LADNER. The enemy-action cases, we call them. We handled all of them. There was something like 1,300 which resulted practically in death cases, and several thousand others where the men returned. Mr. WHITTINGTON. This is a quasi-judicial board? Mr. LADNER. Yes. Mr. WHITTINGTON. You are a member of the bar? Mr. LADNER. Yes. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Mrs. Caraway is not a member of the bar? Mr. LADNER. No. Mr. WHITTINGTON. And Mrs. Swofford is not a member of the bar? Mr. LADNER. No. Mr. WHITTINGTON. So you have a quasi-judicial board and it is administered by a majority of the board being laymen? Mr. LADNER. They are very, very capable and experienced women. Mr. WHITTINGTON. I did not say anything about that, with all due deference. They are laymen. Mrs. Caraway was a former Member of the Senate, and very able. Mrs. Swofford—how long has she been on the Commission? Mr. LADNER. I think 16 years. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Prior to that time what was her position? Mr. LADNER. I do not recall. I had not had the pleasure of knowing her until I came on the Board. Mr. WHITTINGTON. You do not know whether she was connected with it or not? Mr. LADNER. No.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Classed as an examiner or secretary?
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Is it not true now that practically all adjudications, unless there is an application for review, are virtually handled by your examiners?
Mr. LADNER. Of course, the cases are naturally prepared by investigators and examiners and come to us for final decision.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I can understand that; but is it not true that they are virtually handled and conclusions are reached by your examiners?
Mr. LADNER. Naturally; but the final determination comes through us. Surely, the preparation must be done by those in the field and those in the office, and so on.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Unless it is an application for review, is it not true that the Board accepts the findings of your examiners?
Mr. LADNER. Usually our Board finds on the findings of the examiners.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. On the average, how many applications would you say you have had a year since you have been on the Board ? I mean out of the two and a half million cases how many have you reviewed ?
Mr. LADNER. That we passed upon ?
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I said applications for review. Can you give me an estimate?
Mr. LADNER. They run into the thousands. I would not know, unless I gathered it together statistically.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You can understand now that I am asking you that because I would personally like to know how many of the 2,000,000 cases this Board of three members really does anything about, except approve the findings of the examiners. I take it that is generally true from my experience with the Board—that they follow the examiners unless an application for review is presented.
Mr. LADNER. Yes.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I would like to have an estimate that you could give as a lawyer and one who is familiar with the procedure. I would like to know about what is the average number of cases that you review and you are called upon to give your personal attention to.
Mr. LADNER. I would say that it would run probably 20 to 50, depending upon how they accumulate. At our Board meetings we discuss those matters. They run 25 to 30 a week. Perhaps some weeks they will run 100. I cannot tell exactly.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I can understand they might run up to 1,000, and I am asking you for an estimate..
Mr. LADNER. I am giving you a general guess. : Mr. WHITTINGTON. That is what?
Mr. LADNER. We would probably run about 10 a day, or 50 or more a week.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Do you mean to tell me that you members of the oision independently investigate 10 of those cases a day down there?
Mr. LADNER. No. You probably do not understand me.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I do not. That is the reason I am asking the question.
Mr. LADNER. Where there is a question in our minds as to whether the examiner offered the right recommendation, that is where we
review the matter. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Did you say 20 a day or 20 a week? Mr. LADNER. About 10 a day; sometimes 20 a day. It will vary.
It may run 50 a week, and sometimes it may run 100 a week, depending
upon how they come to our desks. Mr. WHITTINGTON. When you return to your office will you look at your file and give the clerk of the committee a letter telling how many applications for review have been handled by you on the average for a week, a month, or a year for the last 5 years? Mr. BENDER. Is it necessary on a quasi-judicial body that the members of that body be lawyers? Does that give them any particular
talent? Mr. LADNER. They do not have to be. Mr. BENDER. For example, a legislator like Mrs. Caraway has for many years been making laws and reviewing laws and changing laws, and so did her husband before her. She is pretty well qualified to sit on a body to determine what is legal and what is not. Mr. LADNER. She is very capable and very able, and so is Mrs. Swofford. Both are unusual women. They are not lawyers, as has been said, but they are very well versed in the procedure. . Mr. BENDER. Is it not true that on a great many of these quasijudicial bodies a number of the members are not members of the legal
STATEMENT OF ALBERT H. LADNER, JR., COMMISSIONER, UNITED STATEs EMPLOYEEs’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION
Congressman Whittington requested information in respect to the number of cases reviewed by the Commissioners of the United States Employees' Compensation Commission, and also in respect to the quasi-judicial nature of the Commission's function.
From the questions asked, I have inferred that Congressman Whittington may have had one kind of review in mind, while my response had another. The Commissioners in performing their function directly pass upon the original claims. The paper work in the processing of claims is done by subordinates, who summarize the evidence and any applicable precedents before the Commissioners receive the cases for direct and original decision by them. This is not a review function, as no final decision on a case is made until it has been adjudicated by the Commissioners. The principal and major function the three members perform is to receive and weigh the evidence in the cases, and to make the original decision applying the statute and the principles of workmen's compensation law directly to the cases. The Commissioners in the course of the average week receive and weigh the evidence, and apply legal principles, in approximately 100 to 150 cases—these are original decisions. In the course of an average week there may be not more than a half dozen closed cases which are reviewed in the sense