Many of our clients file for Social Security Disability benefits in addition to filing for employer sponsored private or group disability benefits. It remains unclear why some of our clients receive immediate approval of their claims, while others have to struggle through the appeals process. We have Social Security attorneys to refer our clients to since we do not handle such cases.
Unfortunately, some SSA decisions seem to depend on what Administrative Law Judge is assigned to your case. In April 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court alleging that five of the eight Queen’s County Administrative Law Judges are biased against the applicants appealing their adverse Social Security disability decision.
The suit seeks to bar the five judges from hearing any more claims, and to annul all their decisions since 2005 to deny any benefits. Together the five judges have rejected an average of 63% of the cases they have heard since September, a huge discrepancy from the 36% average held nationwide.
There are also allegations that the judges are prejudiced against applicants that immigrated to the United States (roughly half the borough’s population), and have limited English-speaking skills. D. Randall Frye, president of the Association of Administrative Law Judges, says that the allegations of bias were generally sour grapes from clients who failed to receive benefits.”
In determining whether bias, in fact, played a role in these cases, a court will likely look to the extent and scope of the alleged legal and factual errors that occurred in each of the eight Plaintiffs’ case.
We at Bonny G. Rafel strive to help those whose claims are denied and will refer you to a capable attorney who practices Social Security law.