Why are Social Security Disability cases heard by Dover, Delaware, judges consistently denied at some of the highest rates in the country? DelmarvaNow.com asks.
Not much has improved since November 2009, when The News Journal published a series of articles documenting the high denial rate since 2005.
In federal fiscal years 2010 and 2011, the Dover judges denied 54 percent and 60 percent of their cases, respectively.
And since October 2011 the administrative law judges from Dover have denied 57 percent of their cases, compared to a national average of 41 percent. It was the fifth-highest denial rate in the country
After hearing years of complaints from hundreds of Delawareans who say they have been unfairly denied the benefits they earned while working, two Delaware senators and one representative have written to the Social Security Commissioner.
One of the senators said that more than 250 people have complained to him about the Dover judges during his first year in office, and that has been more complaints than about any other issue.
At the other end of the spectrum, statistics show that some judges across the nation deny fewer than 10 percent of their cases.
“[Such a] wide disparity of approval rates among the judges justifies a more thorough analysis of whether every claim is getting fair consideration,” the representative said.
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