Recent reports by the Social Security Administration Officer of Inspector General, examined decisions issued by Social Security Judges with high dispositions and high allowance rates and also those with low allowance rates. These reports have provided the media and Congress with fuel to distort the numbers into arguments that the Social Security disability programs are out of control.
Typically, the public, media and Congress focus exclusively on the high paying Social Security Judges, which has led to allegations that unwarranted cases are being paid. However, contrary to some assertions, approval rates for disability applications have fallen significantly at every administrative level in recent years.
The allowance rate for initial applications was 33% in 2013, down from 37% in 2009. This is the first time that Social Security allowance rate has fallen below 50% in many years and is the lowest rate in more than 30 years.
Social Security Disability attorney Randy Zeldin, Esq. is concerned that the drop in approvals is due to political pressures and a change in culture at the Social Security Administration to deny claims. All claimants are entitled to a full and fair hearing by an impartial Social Security Judge. Whether there is “targeting” of Social Security Judges with high approval rates is not yet provable, but appears to be a by-product of Republican party attacks on the Social Security Disability system itself.
Randy Zeldin, Esq. is a Social Security Disability Attorney with offices in Margate, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach and West Palm Beach, Florida.