Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Social Security Suspends Judge for Paying Too Many Claims...What About the Judges That Deny Too Many Claims??

On May 27, 2011, the Wall Street Journal, reported that Administrative Law Judge David Daugherty of the Huntington, W.Va. Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR - the Social Security hearing office) was placed on leave, ostensibly for paying too many claims this year. The WSJ story reported that ALJ Daughtery "awarded benefits in each of the 729 disability cases he decided in the first six months of fiscal 2011, according to government data. In fiscal 2010, Mr. Daugherty denied benefits in just four of the 1,284 cases he decided."

The story went on to story went on to state, "There are 1,500 administrative law judges who rule on disability cases in which applicants have been denied at least twice by Social Security. Judges award benefits roughly 60% of the time, according to government statistics, but some have much higher approval rates. In the first half of 2011, 27 judges awarded benefits 95% of the time, not including those with a handful of cases. In addition to his 100% approval rate, Mr. LinkDaugherty was notable for his volume; only three judges have cleared as many cases this fiscal year as he did."

My Comment: The Social Security Administration is well within its rights to investigate an ALJ that seems to be paying too many claims. However, it would be nice to see Social Security investigate ALJs at the other end of the spectrum - those that deny nearly all of the claims that come before them. Social Security's own statistics show that some ALJs in Florida are paying as little as 7% or 11% of the claimants that come into their courtrooms. Just like it is unlikely that all of the people that ALJ Daugherty considered were disabled, it is just as unlikely that 90% of the claimants that come before one ALJ are not disabled. If most ALJs pay around 60% of the claims they consider, perhaps Social Security's investigators need to spend some time on ALJs that deny claims from truly disabled people too.

Source: Wall Street Journal Online. Click here for the story.

Commentary - Copyright (c) 2011 by John V. Tucker and Tucker & Ludin, P.A. All rights reserved. For assistance with your Florida Social Security Disability claim, call Disability Lawyer John Tucker at (866) 282-5260.

No comments:

Legal Guides From John Tucker on Selected Disability Topics