The Social Security Administration denies almost 65 percent of the disability applications that are filed. An experienced Portland Social Security Disability attorney can help those with denied application file a successful appeal. A disability attorney can also identify issues with an application and discuss the options available to an applicant.
A denied application does not mean that someone is not disabled. There is a certain amount of subjectivity in the application process and many people prevail during appeal and reconsideration process. The subjectivity inherent in the application process is understood by the SSA and administrative law judges but the high approval rate from one ALJ has drawn the attention of federal prosecutors. It appears that the ALJ approved the vast majority of disability applications to come across his desk and federal prosecutors suspect that the judge may have received bribes for approving applications.
Typically ALJs award benefits in 60 percent of the cases that they review. This judge appears to have approved all but four of the 1,284 cases he reviewed in 2010. The ALJ also only declined to award benefits in two of 1,003 cases that he decided before he was put on leave in 2011.
“Inevitably there are going to be some cases that two reasonable people could differ on, but to have such a large number in this gray area is incredible,” said a college professor who is also a Social Security expert. “It invites the sense that if I just get lucky, if I try enough times, I’ll just get one of the easy judges.”
Source: Wall Street Journal, “Ex-Judge’s Disability Rulings Probed,” Damian Paletta, Nov. 25, 2011