A new report by the RAND Corporation, submitted to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Social Security, confirms what Social Security lawyers already knew: there is random luck or bad luck in the process. Specifically, the RAND report found that there is great variation in the decisions of Social Security examiners, as to whether an application for Social Security Disability will be approved or denied. This is true at the initial application stage, where RAND found that some examiners are “liberal” and approve many claims, while others are “conservative” and will deny the same claim.
The second stage of the Social Security Disability process is equally problematic. Once a claim is initially denied by an examiner, it can be sent for “Reconsideration” at the level called Disability Determination Services (DDS). Again, the RAND report found that DDS examiners appear to apply random and arbitrary judgement in how claims are processed.
At the end of the day, the Social Security Disability application process is fraught with uneven decision making. Randy Zeldin, Esq., a Social Security attorney in Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach, represents Social Security applicants in South Florida.