In 2012, Social Security's Office of Inspector General (OIG) did a study on 24 of the agency's Administrative Law Judges (ALJs). Twelve had the agency's highest allowance rates for disability claims and twelve had the lowest. OIG has now gone back to look at what happened. Here's the result:
... The majority of the 24 ALJs from our first review were no longer among the ALJs with the highest and lowest allowance rates in FY 2016 because their allowance rates changed or they were no longer judges. Social Security Administration (SSA) data for FY 2016 indicatedThe report omits information that would show which group -- high allowers or low allowers -- was most affected by the focused reviews. In fact, were any low allowing ALJs selected for focused review? I'm under the impression that the agency does not regard low allowing ALJs as a problem.
Of these 24 ALJs, the Agency had conducted focused reviews on 10. Further, 7 of the 10 ALJs who had a focused review were no longer among the ALJs with the highest or lowest allowance rates or had since left the Agency....
- 6 were still among the ALJs with the highest and lowest allowance rates,
- 1 had been on administrative leave since 2014 following several reviews by the Agency,
- 1 had become a senior attorney,
- 7 were no longer among the ALJs with the highest or lowest allowance rates, and
- 9 were no longer with the Agency.
Whether intended or not, the report notes that the allowance rate for all ALJs declined from 67% in 2012 to 55% in 2016.