Are All Cases Treated Equally?

The Office of the Inspector General made some interesting statistical findings. No. A-07.09-19083 (May, 2010 website at SSA.gov/org). Among the findings are the following:

  • Less cases for back disorders, osteoarthritis, muscle, ligament and fascia injuries/impairments, Diabetes Mellitus and Multiple Sclerosis are approved nationwide at the initial and reconsideration level. There is a higher rate of approval at the hearing offices for these conditions.
  • There is a wide variation of approval and denial rates for individual ALJ's at hearings offices and between hearings offices. The OIG apparently is requesting more investigation as to these varying rates.
  • There is less representation of claimants at the initial applications level and reconsideration level than at the hearing level. One of the main reasons is that individuals are discouraged by the district field offices, claims representatives, and the toll free number, from retaining representation. Our law firm will meet with any individual from the time before they leave work due to a disability to plan for filing at the application. Our law firm will meet with any individual at the reconsideration and hearings level, Appeals Council level and Federal Court level. Each client meets with an attorney, not a non-attorney representative or a paralegal or speak with a switchboard operator to apply for benefits to file an appeal or to accompany the client to the hearing.

For a free legal consultation, contact our firm.