Walking Out Empty-Handed
From the News Journal of Delaware:
Every year, more than 1,000 people tell their stories of ailments, impairments and shortened careers to a Social Security judge in Dover, hoping to win their claim for disability benefits.
Many who walk out empty-handed share one thing in common: Judith A. Showalter, the administrative law judge who denied their claim....
In fiscal years 2005 through 2008, the most recent years for which data are available, Showalter denied 56 percent of the cases she heard, twice the national average of 28 percent, Social Security figures show.
Claimants under age 50 face even tougher odds with Showalter. From 2005 through 2008, Showalter denied 70 percent of their cases, compared to a national average of 32.5 percent, agency data show.
Showalter's record was a big reason the Dover hearing office had the eighth-highest denial rate -- 44 percent -- among 141 offices nationwide