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Fort Worth Star-Telegram
July 10, 2011

Success of disability claims may depend on the judge
By Alex Branch

At a hearing for a Social Security disability claim, what matters more: the circumstances or the judge? One study released this week suggested that the chances of a claim being granted is too often determined by which judge is assigned rather than the facts of the claim. A national, court-by-court analysis reported wide disparities in the percentage of claims granted by administrative law judges, with some judges within the same hearing office approving 90 percent of claims and others approving less than 15 percent, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The organization analyzed about 2 million claims heard between fiscal 2006 and fiscal 2011, the report says. "Even within the individual offices there is not a clear consensus among the judges about which claims should be awarded versus which should be denied," the report says.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2011
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