Sunday, November 14, 2010
Violent Threats to Social Security Judges
It is being reported at The Huffington Post that the Association of Administrative Law Judges issued a release to the Associated Press that judges handling Social Security disability cases are facing an increasing number of violent threats from claimants angry over denials or delays. Historically in Colorado Springs it has been taking a year or so to obtain a hearing for most cases. Efforts are always being made to speed up the process but it is a national problem and in some places delays exceed a year. Video hearings are one way that judges can be utilized where they are most needed but the shear volume of cases is a factor. Also I have noticed that cases may have voluminous medical records or paperwork so even with modern technology it requires time to review. I would personally like to see vocational rehabilitation used to help those who really may have a disability but perhaps can work have a chance at staying productive. It could also help the judge should such rehab fail because it reveals the truth. Instead vocational experts are often called to the hearing to express opinions based on certain assumptions which may or may not reflect the truth. In any event angry people are a sign of the times but blaming judges and violence is not the answer.