From the Wall Street Journal:
A large number of Social Security disability cases approved by certain judges lacked “a well-supported rationale” for awarding benefits, the agency’s inspector general will say in a new report, potentially drawing renewed scrutiny to a program that grew sharply during the economic downturn.
The Social Security Administration’s inspector general plans next week to issue a report that looks at benefits paid by administrative law judges who had both decided an unusually large number of cases and awarded an unusually high number of benefits.The agency determined there were 44 judges over seven years who met that criteria, a number that represented just 4% of the agency’s judicial corps. ...
It examined 275 instances when those judges awarded benefits and found that just 31 of the cases were “properly processed.” Another 216 of the cases “had quality issues,” and 28 “had missing information that prevented us from reviewing the file,” according to the report.
The inspector general concluded that 38 of the 275 cases should have ultimately been denied. It used these findings to determine that the agency “improperly allowed disability benefits on approximately 24,900 cases, resulting in questionable costs of about $2 billion.”
Could someone explain to me how Social Security's Office of Inspector General came by the gold standard for judging who is and who isn't disabled? I know that the rest of Social Security would love to see that gold standard. They've been looking for it for more than 60 years but they just can't seem to find it.