While there are many people in the United States and in the Chicagoland area who desperately need Social Security disability benefits to survive, there are people who have taken advantage of the system due to relaxed oversight. According to a Senate subcommittee report, which was spearheaded by one Oklahoma senator, more than a quarter of disability claims are approved despite conflicting or inadequate information. This may mean the screws will be tightened on the disability benefit process.
Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, headed the report, which said it doesn’t mean that these applicants should have been turned down. However, it does mean that there have been “unfounded approvals” that have slipped through the cracks of the process. This may make it harder for those with legitimate claims to get approved.
“Administrative law judges are under immense pressure to clear away a deep backlog of applications,” according to The Hill. “Coburn’s review uncovered examples of judges holding hearings that lasted only 10 minutes, at which the disability recipient didn’t even speak. Some judges seemed to overtly ignore evidence indicating that applicants were probably able to return to work.”
All claims systems in the United States have some flaws and unworthy cases approved. However, there are instances when legitimate cases are denied or delayed due to unreasonable proof requirements. The new Social Security Administration policy of keeping the identity of the judge secret until the day of the hearing further places a disadvantage on the claimant and their attorney.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates have never requested a change of judge for fear of presenting a case before one who is known as “difficult.” We work our clients cases up in anticipation of presenting the case to the toughest judge employed by the SSA. When compelling evidence is presented, the judge is required to follow the law and approve the claimant or be overturned by a higher court.