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Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA)

Meet the Chief Administrative Law Judge

Portrait of Judge RhewJudge Perry J. Rhew serves as the Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA). Judge Rhew became the first Managing ALJ for the Midwestern OMHA field office on April 3, 2005 and was appointed the Acting Chief ALJ two weeks later. He served as the acting Chief ALJ until his appointment as OMHA's first permanent Chief ALJ on May 28, 2006. As Chief ALJ, he oversaw the agency's hiring and training of over 300 employees, including ALJs, attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, docket clerks and administrative staff members, and the opening of OMHA's four field offices in Cleveland, Irvine, Miami and Arlington. He also directs the OMHA Headquarters staff in Arlington, Virginia. Judge Rhew frequently meets with Congressional staff members, other agency heads within the Department of Health and Human Services, and interested parties from other federal agencies. He oversees the budget planning and staffing models for OMHA, anticipating the needs for a growing docket of Medicare appeals.

A native of Missouri, Judge Rhew obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Southeast Missouri State University, and a J.D. from the University of Missouri - Kansas City. He began his legal career as a public defender. He then served twelve years in elected office in his home state, first as a prosecuting attorney and then for two terms as a state court judge. In that capacity he heard criminal cases ranging from misdemeanor offenses to capital murder trials, and civil litigation from uncontested divorces to civil trials.

He resigned from public office in 1997 to accept an appointment as a federal ALJ for the Social Security Administration (SSA) in Cleveland, Ohio. He was serving as the Acting Chief ALJ of the Cleveland SSA Office of Hearings and Appeals at the time of his current appointment to OMHA.

A lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, Judge Rhew formerly served as the President of the Board of Trustees of the Methodist Union in the greater Cleveland metropolitan area. A playwright and vocalist, his works are primarily contemporary Christian drama.

Judge Rhew currently serves on the Policy Advisory Committee of the Cleveland Federal Executive Board. He and his partner reside in the Cleveland area.