Social Security claimants can wait longer than a year to have their hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. So, what happens when you feel like the ALJ bases his or her decision on your looks, gender, or race instead of your disability? If you feel like the ALJ discriminated against you, this is what you should know.
Discrimination can and does happen.
Your impression that the ALJ was biased or discriminatory may be accurate. There have been some unfortunate cases of extreme bias that have come to light over the past few years. For example, Judge John Pleuss, a Social Security ALJ in Wisconsin, has been accused of deciding whether or not to approve claimants based on whether or not he liked their looks. He's also accused of making racially-biased comments about black claimants. There are even allegations that he's never approved a disability claim by any Hmong claimant. He isn't the first ALJ who has come under fire for such actions. In 2011, five ALJs in New York came under fire for being unnecessarily harsh and disrespectful to applicants, especially those that were foreign-born.
One thing you may want to examine is how many cases are approved by the ALJ that heard your case. In the case of the New York judges, for example, their rate of denial for applicants was 50.9%, which was much higher than the denial rate of other areas. If the ALJ's rate of approval for cases seems unusually low, that could add weight to your suspicions.
You have three different options for dealing with a discriminatory ruling.
You essentially have three options when dealing with a ruling that you believe was discriminatory:
Keep in mind that neither of the last two options affects your actual claim, so they should be considered in addition to (not instead of) a request to the Appeals Council.
If you believe that the ALJ that heard your case was discriminatory or biased against you for some reason, discuss the situation with an attorney who handles Social Security.Share
24 June 2016
People with an eye for property can make a great deal of money buying a house, fixing it up and then selling it for a profit. However, there are many legal issues involved in this kind of pursuit. I am an attorney with experience in real estate, and I have helped many clients learn the legal details involved in flipping property. This blog will help you understand what you need to know when you are buying and selling a home as well as information about paying taxes on money made and property owned. Flipping houses can be a very profitable activity as long as you know how to do it legally.