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I am honored and pleased to have been invited to present testimony to the Subcommittee.
The opinions I express during my testimony and in this Statement are solely my personal opinions. I do not speak for the
I am not affiliated with any political party.
Since my appointment as a U.S. administrative law judge (ALJ) in
From 1988 until my appointment as an ALJ during
From 1976 until my appointment as a
I served as National Grievance Chair of the
I have been involved in the medico-legal field my entire legal career.
To assess what potential remedies might be available to
(1) The current average value of a disability award is approximately
(2) The SSA management currently stated "goal" or "expectation" is that every ALJ should issue from 500 to 700 legally defensible decisions per year. When an ALJ issues 500 decisions valued at approximately
(3) Representatives (attorneys and non-attorney representatives) involved in the disability system are paid in excess of
(4) All of the "stakeholders" identified above (claimants, attorneys, non-attorney representatives,
(5) A disability award is in reality a pension for life. Only 3% of claimants placed on disability ever return to employment.
(6) Almost all claimants are now represented in the disability determination process by attorneys or non-attorney representatives. Representation commonly starts with the attorney or representative going to a claimant's home and completing the claimant's disability application and supplemental documentation using the Internet.
(7) There is no economic reason for a claimant and representative not to file a disability application. The cost of initially processing the claimant's application, developing the record (wage and resource development, vocational history, and similar information), obtaining medical records and procuring consultative medical examinations is paid for by taxpayers.