Many of our clients, severely disabled due to medical malpractice, a serious car accident or a work injury, have to fight hard for basic social security disability benefits - even though they have objective medical evidence documenting their serious injuries and inability to work and have paid in to the system for years and years.
So we were interested in a recent article posted on the American Association for Justice, website, indicating the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals had to overturn a number of Social Security Administration disability denials by the Administrative Law Judges.
The Seventh Circuit has been overturning denial decisions recently because the evaluation process had been called into question. According to the article, the percentage of overturned decisions had been higher in the last three years.
Apparently the SSA has been assigning doctors randomly to cases. Meaning a gynecologist could be assessing a case involving back pain. This is obviously a problem. The ALJs (administrative law judges) even went against the conclusion of one of their own doctors claiming, "her physical limitations were exaggerated because she helped care for her elderly mother", even though the doctor concluded that the claimant did qualify as disabled.
This is unfortunate for all of those who need the disability benefits but are getting denied. They need a better system in place-- one that does not assign random doctors to cases. It looks as if the ALJs are not looking at all the evidence-- the testimony and medical records.
For more information on this, click here.