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Judges Sue to Stop Social Security Disability Quotas

Posted on May 19, 2013

The vast bureaucracy of the Social Security Administration includes literally thousands of judges—not civil or criminal judges, who preside over trials, but administrative law justices, who give the thumbs up or thumbs down on hundreds of thousands of disability applications every year. Now, according to an article in the Baltimore Sun, these judges (who hear appeals on denied disability claims) are fed up with their growing workloads, and are suing the SSA to eliminate monthly quotas.

To quote from the article: “In a federal lawsuit filed this month, 1,400 judges said the agency's expectation that they decide as many as 700 claims per year is causing them to rush evaluations and possibly approve claims that should be denied, at a potential cost of millions of taxpayer dollars...The judges said the number of disability claims has increased from fewer than 300,000 in 1990 to nearly 850,000 today. Applications have grown by 30 percent since 2007. And an individual claim file can contain more than 500 pages of medical records, notes from doctors and evidence provided by experts. Randall Frye, a judge based in Charlotte, N.C., said the volume of claims the agency expects judges to decide violates the principle of due process and drives up the country's cost of providing disability benefits.”

From the perspective of a disabled individual applying for Social Security, the danger of this work overload isn't that his application will be approved with only a minimum of inspection, but that it will be denied out of hand simply because an overworked administrative judge needs to clear his desk.

Are you a northern California resident who is thinking of applying for Social Security disability benefits? Contact the Social Security disability attorneys at the Ledgerwood Law Group (888-761-7383) for a free consultation today!

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Thomas Ledgerwood
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