A full account of the judicial influence on Social Security disability programs would require a book-length, perhaps even encyclopedia-length, treatise and would take us far afield from our present concern. This article focuses narrowly on the activities of Legal Services attorneys, mental health reformers, and children's advocates. Although mental health reformer groups are only one of many antipoverty organizations involved in advocacy efforts on behalf of the disabled poor, they have been among the most persistent, the most active, and the most successful in using a litigation strategy to achieve their larger policy goals. According to one Social Security official, though there were "pockets of spokespersons for other disabilities," no other disability group presented, as concerted an effort as did mental health reformers. As this article argues, their success and the corresponding transformation in Social Security disability raises a number of policy and administrative challenges that Congress has yet to address.

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Copyright © 2002, Connecticut Insurance Law Journal. This article first appeared in Connecticut Insurance Law Journal: 8:2 (2002), 401-434.

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