Social Security Administration Disparities Extensive, Overall Problem Increasing
(04 Jul 2011) A new and very detailed analysis of close to two million Social Security Administration (SSA) cases has found extensive and hard to explain disparities in the granting and denial of disability benefits. Because the widespread disparities were found WITHIN the agency's separate offices, the data indicate that the outcomes for individual claims often are more determined by the particular judge who decides them than by their underlying facts and circumstances.

The data -- analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) -- also show that the disparity problem has worsened since the SSA launched an ambitious program to reduce the vast numbers of individuals awaiting a hearing and to speed up the process. The report can be viewed at
Embedded in this report is a special interactive table that allows the public to obtain counts and rates documenting the degree of disparity among individual judges in a Social Security hearing office as well as disparity measures for each office as a whole.
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