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Social Security judges sometimes make inaccurate decisions

In the SSDI application process, it is important for applicants to put together an accurate application from the beginning to ensure the Social Security Administration has sufficient information to make an accurate decision. Even when an applicant puts together an accurate application from the start, the decision doesn’t always come out right.

Fortunately, applicants have the ability to appeal a bad decision. There are various layers to the appeals process, the first being a reconsideration. In a reconsideration, the applications gets a second look by an individual who had no part in the original decision. If, after reconsideration, the decision is still bad, an applicant can go on to have a hearing with an administrative law judge.Â

At the hearing level, an applicant has the ability to appear in person—along with an attorney, should they choose to do so—and present their case along with any new information the judge should have to make an accurate decision. At the hearing level, it is important that judges consider the evidence carefully and make a decision based on the merits of the case.

Unfortunately, administrative law judges do not always carefully consider the evidence and sometimes make decisions based on whim. In many cases, the decision will be a blind approval, but it can just as easily be a blind rejection, depending on how the judge is felling that day. Flippancy aside, though, it is important for applicants for SSDI to realize that they do have the right to appeal beyond the hearing level. Doing so with the assistance of an experienced attorney is not a bad idea.

Source: National Review, “Dysfunctional Disability Judges,†Jillian Kay Melchior, October 28, 2014.Â

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