Do you have to go to court to get disability benefits?

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On the facebook page for this site, I posted a link to a page that questioned why it was that court (actually, a hearing) was necessary to win disability benefits. Obviously, if you go by the statistics, which have been fairly consistent for the nearly 20 years that I've been looking at them, you don't always have to go to a hearing. Most of the time, however, you do.

Why is this? Is it because disability examiners do not do their jobs properly? Is it because the system is tilted against the claimant who applies? Is it because there is an institutional atmosphere of denial, a culture of denial?

As to the last two, the answer is yes. Regarding disability examiners, I would say no. That's because disability examiners carry heavy caseloads, work under a great deal of stress, and, more relevantly, do not make decisions in vacuum. Their decisions are subject to be modified, even completely changed by their supervisors. And those supervisors are often titled against making too many approvals. Why? Because approvals are the kinds of cases that get sent back as quality assurance reviews by DQB, the disability quality branch. You can be sure that if DQB sent back as many cases that had been marked for denial, things would be different. But they aren't.

You shouldn't have to have to go to a hearing. And if there was more consistency in the system, you wouldn't have to. It is completely ridiculous that you can be denied at the initial claim and recon appeal levels, and then get approved by an ALJ (administrative law judge). And it is even more ridiculous that you have to file for, and wait for, a hearing--which can add a year to your total wait than if you had simply been given the correct decision when you first applied, or even when you did your first appeal. But that's the system, and its not likely to change.

Should I have to go to court or get a Lawyer to get approved for Social Security disability or SSI?







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This page contains a single entry by SSDRC published on March 29, 2012 11:38 AM.

Disability Deadline and Appointment for Medical Exam was the previous entry in this blog.

Autism either being more precisely identified, or simply increasing? is the next entry in this blog.

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