Free Consultations

We Advance All Costs - No Fee Unless We Win!

In this section
Review Us
Experienced trial lawyers With The Resources To Handle Your Case

SSDI judges: how big a problem?

The Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) program is large. There are millions of recipients of SSDI benefits and the system pays out billions of dollars every year. None of this is surprising. The appeals process for SSDI benefits is cumbersome and slow and as we discussed a few weeks ago, carries a massive backlog.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has attempted to deal with it, but it has been a struggle with the budget cutbacks, sequestration, and government shut down all adding to the delays and the backlog.

But the Inspector General for the agency has found a problem that is related to the other issues within the appeals process. Some judges approve SSDI benefits without "a well-supported rationale," within the appeal.

Here's the problem. The administrative judges have been pushed to process as many claims as possible. If a judge approves a claim, the benefit is paid and it is unlikely the disabled applicant is going to appeal to complain that the judge did not explicitly enunciate his or her rationale for awarding the benefits.

Some judges may have approved some cases too easily. But they fact that they approved the award of benefits does not mean that they should not have ruled in the applicant's favor. All it means is they did not write out their "well-supported rationale" for that award.

The larger problem for the SSA is the more demanding they are of what the judge writes in a benefit award, the slower the award process will be and fewer appeals will be completed.

While the IG report implicates 4 percent of the SSA's judges, the total potential problem claims is only 0.4 percent. And remember, of that 0.4 percent, we have no way of knowing how many of those lacked supporting evidence for the approval, we only know the judge failed to explain their rationale.

Hiring more judges and giving them more time to properly asses their cases would be the best solution to this problem.

The Wall Street Journal, "New Report Could Increase Scrutiny of Social Security Disability Judges," Damian Paletta, November 14, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

what our clients say about us

  1. $5.5 Million

    Settlement for spinal injury caused by delivery company's negligent vehicle maintenance

  2. $5 Million

    Settlement for traumatic brain injury

  3. $1.2 Million

    Settlement (Liability insurance limits) for death claim arising out of tractor trailer collision

  4. $1 Million

    Settlement for closed head injury/facial fractures due to negligent construction site practices

  5. $1 Million

    Arbitration award in death claim arising out of motor vehicle collision

  6. $1 Million

    Total workers' compensation settlement for injured worker who suffered orthopedic injuries and additional GI injuries due to prescription medications.

  7. $1 Million

    Policy limits recovered for head injury sustained by the user of unsafe rental equipment.

  8. $890,000

    Settlement for head injury of injured worker caused by negligent operation of equipment by a non-employer contractor on the job site.

  9. $875,000

    Settlement for ankle injury due to negligent dump truck operation

  10. $675,000

    Settlement for bilateral wrist injuries caused by the negligent operation of a tractor-trailer.

  11. $600,000

    Settlement for statutory cap of $500,000 for wrongful death of a worker who was killed when struck by a government-owned vehicle as well as policy limit for underinsured motorist coverage.

  12. $$450,000

    Workers' compensation settlement for a nurse who sustained a low back injury requiring multiple surgeries.

  13. $375,000

    Settlement for knee injury sustained in a motor vehicle collision with contested liability.

view more
email us for a response

Call Us 24/7 To Discuss Your Case

866-967-7235 | 717-496-0070

Absolutely no fee

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy