Senator Hatch To Launch Investigation In Social Security Disability Claim Approvals

According to the Washington Wire, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee said he plans to investigate high award rates by some Social Security administrative law judges. Senator Orrin Hatch said he was concerned by recent published reports of some administrative law judges having high percentage approvals for Social Security Disability Insurance claims.

Hatch said that an already broke Social Security disability program is being further threatened by a system that appears to be overly generous in giving out benefits to those who may not deserve them. Hatch’s statement continued to say that he plans to launch an investigation into the matter to determine the scope and cause of these high approvals.

Social Security Disability Insurance, one of the program’s disability programs, had 10.2 million beneficiaries at the end of 2010 and paid out $124 billion in benefits. A recent report showed that a Huntington-based administrative law judge David B. Daugherty had a nearly 100 percent approval of disability claims heard in front of his bench. The national approval average is closer to 60%, though there are several other administrative law judges with an approval in more than 90% of their decisions.

Other lawmakers such as Nick J. Rahall of West Virginia and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia said that they are closely monitoring the situation in Huntington.

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