West Virginia Judge Goes on Leave Pending Investigation

The West Virginia administrative law judge discussed in a previous post has gone on leave with pay after a Wall Street Journal article called attention to his abnormally high rate of approval for Social Security applications. Assistance when applying for Social Security benefits is available from a Tulsa Social Security disability lawyer.

The SS application process – in particular, the rates at which bureaucrats approve or reject applications – has been under increasing scrutiny since 2008 research by the newspaper, The Oregonian. The Oregonian used a Freedom of Information Act request to uncover the approval and rejection statistics for all SS administrative law judges in the country.

Judge Daugherty’s denial rates for 2005 through 2008 were 5 percent, 3 percent, 1 percent and 1 percent, but he’s not the sole anomaly. For 2011, for example, at least 27 judges have approved benefits in greater than 95 percent of the cases that came before them. The average approval rate throughout the country is significantly lower at 60 percent. In contrast, one of the most stringent judges in the country approves only 11 percent of applications.

Investigators will review Judge Daugherty’s high rate of approvals while he is on leave. Judge Daugherty said that he has never awarded benefits without evidence of a disability and that he handles more cases than other judges because he uses SS Administration-approved methods to speed up his processing of cases. Those who are disabled may wish to speak to a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney to learn about how to obtain disability benefits.

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