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Calls for investigation into adjudication of SSD claims

It’s no secret that many Social Security disability claims are initially denied. There may be a number of reasons for these denials, including insufficient medical evidence and work history. As frustrating as this may be, a recent study may be shedding light on the lax review system SSD claims undergo, which could be costing countless Americans — including those right here in Iowa — the financial support they deserve under the law.

In many instances, Social Security disability claims are reviewed by doctors. The issue, as highlighted by recent reporting, is that many of these doctors are paid for each case that they analyze and make a decision on. This has caused some reviewing doctors to make decisions on as many as five claims per hour. These are rushed decisions that are likely based on only pieces of one’s claim rather than its entirety.

Now, the chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee in Congress is hoping that an investigation into these doctors will be undertaken. He is calling for the Government Accountability Office to conduct a state-by-state examination of the practices utilized by doctors to make SSD determinations. An investigation may detail how much these doctors are paid, their qualifications and the performance measures that are in place to hold them accountable. The investigation will only be undertaken, though, if the Government Accountability Office agrees to assemble an investigatory team.

While this news is disheartening, Iowans can increase their chances of succeeding on an initial SSD claim or an appeal by working closely with a skilled legal professional. Those who are experienced in this area of the law will know how to gather and present evidence that is critical to succeeding on one of these claims. This can help minimize or eliminate potential pitfalls, even if those pitfalls are presented by negligent claim adjudicators.