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The Social Security Disability and SSI decision process in Illinois
Disability examiners, the individuals who, in theory, render disability claim decisions in Illinois at the application and reconsideration levels do not actually make the decisions themselves. That is to say, they do not have unilateral authority to stamp an approval or denial on a social security disability or SSI case (aside from a minority of single decision makers).
In actuality, the decision is initially made by an examiner, agreed upon (or not) by a medical or psychological consultant who is attached to the examiner's unit, and then finally signed off on, or overruled by, the examiner's unit supervisor.
This, of course, is simply the long way to state that decisional authority for the outcome of a case rests not with the examiner, but with the examiner's supervisor. Why is this fact significant? Because unit supervisors at state processing agencies are extremely concerned with the statistics of the units they supervise.
Specifically, the number of returns they receive from quality control units. Returns are viewed by supervisors, as Joseph Heller (author of Catch-22) might say, as "blackeyes". No supervisor wants blackeyes, particularly when upper management has the tendency of comparing one's unit's statistics against all the others. Returns also tend to be...drumroll please...cases that were approved, not cases that were denied.
Now you see the rub. But's lets review the facts.
1. Unit supervisors, not disability examiners, have the final say-so on claims (at least before they leave their units).
2. Unit supervisors hate to receive blackeyes, otherwise known as returns.
3. Returns tend to be cases that were approved, not cases that were denied.
It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out where this all leads, does it? Human nature being what it is, it simply means that as long as A) unit supervisors are reviewed according to the number of "returns" their units receive and B) returns tend to be "cases that were approved", then the following will always tend to be true, which is C) unit supervisors will always tend to discourage the disability examiners who work in their respective units from making too many approvals. Because "too many approvals" may potentially mean more returns, and returns, which are viewed as errors, do not make supervisors look good in the eyes of their superiors.
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Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center
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Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers
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Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI
Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
The SSI Disability Benefits Program
Medical exams for disability claims
Applying for Disability in various states
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Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews
Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children
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Disability hearings before Judges
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Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits
Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability
Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children
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Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records
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Filing for disability in Illinois
Applying for disability in Illinois
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Filing for disability in Illinois, when to file
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Social Security Disability Representatives and help in Illinois
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Eligibility and Qualifications for Disability in Illinois
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Disability denial in Illinois, when to get a lawyer
Social Security Disability Waiting period in Illinois
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Illinois disability hearings
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Odds of disability approval in Illinois better at a hearing vs reconsideration
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Illinois mental disability
Approved for disability in Illinois with a mental condition
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Illinois disability denials
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Denied on a Disability Reconsideration in Illinois
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Denied the second time for Social Security Disability in Illinois