Many Inconsistencies When Granting Disability Benefits

The country continues to take a closer look at Social Security disability claims given the financial difficulties that all of Social Security faces in the coming years. The scrutiny is necessary, with a record 2.9 million applying for disability benefits in 2010. A Wall Street Journal investigation into disability offices that approve nearly 100 percent of applicants brought to light the great disparity between how different Social Security Administration (“SSA”) offices decide who is eligible to receive disability benefits. Information on what to expect when applying for disability benefits is available from a Tulsa Social Security disability lawyer.

Administrative law judges (“ALJs”) hear the first appeal for those whose initial application was unsuccessful. Data show that some ALJs, like the West Virginia judge discussed in previous posts, approve nearly all of the cases they see. Others approve just about none of them. Inconsistencies like these led the SSA to now post monthly statistics pertaining to each ALJ’s caseload. In the past, the SSA only released this information upon request.

Examples demonstrate how Social Security disability applicants may expect different results depending on where they live. A Delaware ALJ has denied 82% of her claims in 2011 so far. The West Virginian ALJ who recently went on administrative leave has denied only 119 of 8,381 claims since 2004. In New York City, one office in Jericho has a denial rate of 14%, while less than an hour away over in Queens, the office’s denial rate there is 47%.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys

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