Sep 16, 2013

Depends Upon How You Want To Look At It

     From the Chattanooga Times Free Press:
A congressional panel that earlier this year criticized judges for lavishly awarding Social Security disability benefits might have been talking about Tennessee.
It depends how you crunch the numbers.
Nearly two-thirds of administrative law judges in Tennessee grant benefits to more than half the sick and injured workers who come before them, federal figures show. ...
But there's another way to look at it, a local disability attorney said: Judges are the back-up for a high turn-down rate at the first stage of the application process.
Though the disability rate among Tennessee workers is about a third higher than the national average, the state has the second-lowest rate in the nation for initial approval of disability claims, figures from the Social Security Administration show.


Anonymous said...

As a Tennessee disability attorney, I can confirm that the primary reason our ALJ approval rate is higher is because our DDS denies WAY to many valid claims at the initial and denial level. For several years, we led the nation in initial and recon denial rates and the ALJ approval rate was even higher. There is no question in my mind that there is a reverse correlation between DDS initial/recon approval rates and ALJ approval rates.

Anonymous said...

With such a high ALJ approval rate, looks like we may need to look into opening a satellite office in Tennessee!

Anonymous said...

I agree. DDS denies a LOT of cases. I don't think the ALJ approval rate is all that high though. It varies from ODAR to ODAR and with judges in the same office.