Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

Approved by Mistake?

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Nov 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Social Security Office of Inspector General (IG) has released a report with a startling conclusion: Administrative Law Judges (ALJ's) have approved nearly 25,000 applicants for disability "by mistake." 

That is a very interesting assertion.  

We hire ALJ's to judge claims.  Is it appropriate for the IG to come along and second-guess these ALJ's? Doesn't such an approach call into question the independence of the ALJ's? I submit that this is not a good thing.  What the IG did here is tantamount to intimidation. The IG is sending a chilling message to the ALJ's: We Are Watching You. 

It is hard to believe that the true purpose of a report like this is to pressure ALJ's into denying more claims. Proof of this may be found in just whom it was that the IG investigated.  They went after ALJ's that the IG felt was approving too many applicants.  

Where is the IG's investigation into ALJ's who approve too few applicants? You might die of old age waiting for that.  This is no mere intellectual exercise. Among the ALJ's that the IG investigated, SSA disciplined fourteen and fired one.  

I don't know how the IG could have sent a clearer message to our supposedly-independent judges: Turn down more people or get risk your career. 

Is this really how the judiciary should work?

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.

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